Yesterday, Sunday, December 26, was the Feast Day of St. Stephen, the primary martyr of the Church. Beneath is a acquire for St. Stephen’s Day:
Grant, O Lord, that in all our sufferings right here upon earth for the testimony of your reality, we might steadfastly look as much as heaven, and by religion behold the glory that shall be revealed; and being stuffed with the Holy Spirit, might study to like and bless our persecutors by the instance of your first martyr Stephen, who prayed for his murderers as did his Lord and Savior; who now sits on the proper hand of God to intercede for all who are suffering in his Title, and who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit with no end in sight. Amen.
Much more placing is to learn the account of Stephen’s martyrdom within the E-book of Acts. You understand the story. Stephen was stoned to loss of life. He requested the Lord to obtain his spirit. He forgave his killers, asking God to not maintain their sin towards them. And he fell asleep.
And Stephen, filled with grace and energy, was doing nice wonders and indicators among the many folks. . .. Then they secretly instigated males who mentioned, “We’ve got heard him communicate blasphemous phrases towards Moses and God.” (Significantly!? Learn chapter 7, Stephen’s sermon earlier than the council to see his nice honoring and reverence for Moses and goes with out saying for God!) . . . And gazing at him, all who sat within the council noticed that his face was just like the face of an angel. (Acts 6: 8, 11, & 15)
On the finish of his sermon, Stephen advised the folks they had been “stiff-necked” “uncircumcised in coronary heart and ears,” that they resisted the Holy Spirit, and that their fathers persecuted the prophets.
Not surprisingly, “after they heard these items they had been enraged, they usually floor their enamel at him. “However he, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and noticed the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the proper hand of God. And he mentioned, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing on the proper hand of God.” However they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed collectively at him.” (Acts 7: 51-52; 54-57)
Dozens of Scripture verses describe Jesus as “seated on the proper hand of the Father.” Seated. Just a few examples:
- Luke 22: 69 “However any further the Son of Man shall be seated on the proper hand of the facility of God.”
- Hebrews 12: 2 “Trying to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our religion, who for the enjoyment that was set earlier than him endured the cross, despising the disgrace, and is seated on the proper hand of the throne of God.”
- Revelation 3: 21 “The one who conquers, I’ll grant him to sit down with me on my throne, as I additionally conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.”
- Psalm 110: 1 “The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my proper hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.” However discover that God says “sit . . . till.”
After which issues change. Jesus stands in judgment. The account of Stephen’s martyrdom describes what is occurring, after which Stephen himself exclaims that he sees the heavens open and the Son of Man standing. Jesus because the “Son of Man” connects to Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 7 that describes each “the Historical of Days” and the “Son of Man” as bringing judgment.
Stephen, the prophet and martyr, had a imaginative and prescient of the Messiah rising in judgment on those that not solely resisted the Holy Spirit however had introduced false expenses towards him. There could possibly be different functions in Jesus’ standing as properly.
Some theologians dispute the concept Jesus might have been standing on Stephen’s behalf, in addition to in judgement. However it seems like Jesus to me! St. Paul mentioned, “For this mild momentary affliction is getting ready for us an everlasting weight of glory past all comparability.” Stephen’s torment and agony don’t appear “transient and momentary,” however Jesus is the North Star, guiding him Dwelling.
As well as, I wouldn’t be stunned if Jesus was standing out of honor of the primary martyr. Jesus is aware of what it’s prefer to be a human and expertise painful loss of life. Did He say to the angels, “That’s My son, Stephen! He’ll be right here quickly!”
Jesus advised His disciples that there’s rejoicing within the presence of the angels over one sinner repenting. Absolutely there’s additionally standing in hushed reverence over one martyr’s loss of life. That’s what Stephen noticed earlier than he died, however I imagine that has continued by way of the ages because the cloud of trustworthy witnesses from each tribe and tongue and nation has grown.