Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. (v. 60)Say what, Stephen? Now, I don’t know about you but I am thinking that if people were coming after me because I was proclaiming Christ, I might say, “Okay, Lord, you go get ’em. I laid down my life to follow you and they didn’t like it. So, you show ’em who’s boss, okay? OKAY?!” Just being honest. I’m curious. Do you tend to lean on the side of mercy or justice?
After giving his speech to the Sanhedrin, the ancient Jewish court system in Jesus’ day, Stephen was stoned to death. The scriptures say that they were “furious and gnashed their teeth at him.” But Stephen didn’t care. In fact, according to verse 55 in Acts 7 he cared so little about himself that he turned his gaze to heaven and saw the glory of God with Jesus standing at the right hand of God. He told them what he saw and they all rushed after him in a rage that was uncontrollable. While I have a hard time reading that Stephen was stoned to death, I have an even harder time reading the last verse of the chapter: