Acts 7:54–60 (ESV)
The Stoning of Stephen
Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens
opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments
at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when
he had said this, he fell asleep.
Stephen finishes his speech, but they are not happy. He looks into heaven and sees the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Stephen speaks,
telling them “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” They didn’t want to hear what Stephen was saying, so they rushed him and took him outside the city and stoned him. While they
were stoning Stephen, Saul (who will later be called Paul), stood by and watched. Stephen calls out to Jesus: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Falling to his knees he says “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”
These words are very similar to what Jesus said on the cross. Then Stephen died.
We may focus on the death and think this is a tragedy, but are we forgetting life after death? This is Stephen’s
greatest day. I’m sure the rocks hurt, but he meets Jesus that day. He saw him in the vision and then he goes to live with him. Jesus is not about death, but about life. There really is life after death, and it will be beautiful
for believers in Jesus Christ.
I pray: O Lord, help me to serve you until death. I pray for my faith to endure unto the end. Help me to proclaim your glory, grace, and mercy to the
lost, the enemy, and to bring them hope. In Jesus Christ name I pray, Amen.