5/16 Acts 7:56

56 And he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

Stephen was one of the first deacons selected to make sure the practical needs of the church were met. He was also a bold witness for the Lord. When certain synagogues found they couldn't resist Stephen's wise defense of Jesus as the Messiah, they found false witnesses to accuse him of false charges similar to those that Jesus had faced. Stephen's defense was a recap of Israel's resistance to the work of God that ran through their history. He concluded that they had done it again, and this time was the worst rebellion against God. They, the Jewish leaders, had killed the Messiah. Those leaders became furious. That is when Stephen uttered our verse for today. The leaders began to scream, plugged their ears, and rushed to stone him.

When Jesus was on trial, He quoted verses that declared that He would be seated at the right hand of God (Mark 14:62; Psalm 110:1). That is the place of all power and authority. The heavens opened so that the first martyr, Stephen, could see Jesus stand to welcome him home. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints (Psalm 116:15). Not only is Jesus watching each and every life, but He stands to welcome home His faithful ones.

Prayer: Lord, please help me to be faithful to the end so that I might witness what Stephen saw.