Acts 7: 54-60
When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
While they were stoning him. Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 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.
Each generation should learn from the mistakes of the generation of people before. If we don’t learn from history, we usually repeat it. This is what happened to Stephen. The same false charges that were brought against Jesus the Christ were also spoken against Stephen, a man filled with the Holy Spirit. Stephen spoke the truth of the sin of their fathers rejecting God along with his prophets and betraying and murdering his son Jesus the Messiah. They were enraged, furious when Stephen told them he saw heaven open with the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. Refusing to listen, they dragged him out of town and stoned him to his death where there was many witnesses, including a young man named Saul. Stephen’s last prayer was for Jesus to receive his spirit and do not hold this sin against them. Stephen was a strong witness and example of the power of the Holy Spirit for us to share Christ and to forgive others.
Father awaken us to the power of your Holy Spirit to be your witness of The Way to a right fellowship with you made possible through Jesus Christ. Humble us in prayer for the forgiveness of our sin and for the forgiveness of sin for others. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.