The Catholic Church have this believe that the resurrection of Jesus is a foreshadowing of what will happen at the end of time, when all people will be raised from the dead. Still, even during the life of Jesus, God allowed some individuals to rise up from the grave and live for a while longer on this earth.
According to the Acts of the Apostles, a Christian woman known as Tabitha died in the city of Joppa. As the Christians in the city knew that St. Peter was nearby and they sent for him, and he hurried to the side of Tabitha.
Everyone were mourning over her death, but when Peter got there, he asked everyone to wait outside the house.
Peter took all of them outside as he knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.” And Tabitha opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. So he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then, as he called upon the saints and widows he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. (Acts 9:40-42)
The resurrection of Tabitha was indeed a miraculous gift from God which led many others to believe in the power of Jesus Christ.
As interesting as it sounds, this wasn’t the last time a saint invoked the power of God to resurrect an individual.
During the time of St. Irenaeus in the early 2nd century, he emphasized that “Some persons that were dead have been raised again and have continued among us many years.”
There are also additional reports of resurrections in the 4th and 5th century, as related by Church historians of that period. (As a note, these people experienced a second “death,” as these resurrections were only “earthly” and also temporary and not the full “heavenly” resurrection that God promised will happen when this world passes away.)
For instance, St. Marcarius, a holy monk living in the deserts of Egypt, came across a man who didn’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus. In order to convince him, the saint invoked the power of God over a dead man and he was raised back to life. And this miracle was spread throughout the Egyptian desert.
As some may be cautious of believing these early accounts of resurrection, the Acts of the Apostles is the most reliable evidence that reveals the ability to call upon the power of God to resurrect an individual, bringing them from death to life. Certainly, it is not a common occurrence in the history of Christianity, nor is it something that can be easily invoked by any Christian.
As similar as Miracles are, it is a gift given through the power of God for a specific purpose, through the hands of a humble instrument.
God desired to remind his people that the resurrection of Jesus wasn’t just a “show-off” but a real event that will definitely occur to all people at the end of time.