The Standing Savior
Stephen was a first. He was one of the first deacons. He was the first person other than an apostle to be given power to perform miracles. And he was the first Christian martyr.
Having been faithful in serving tables, Stephen was given a wider ministry: “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people” (Acts 6:8). But his increased outreach brought increased opposition. When the religious leaders heard this dynamic deacon they gathered a mob to stone him.
Before the stones started flying, Stephen was given a glimpse into heaven where he saw the Lord Jesus standing on the right hand of God.
Doesn’t the Bible say that Jesus sat down at the right hand of God following His sacrifice on the cross?
Yes, but this was a special occasion. One of His servants was in serious trouble. So the Saviour was standing. He would personally welcome him into His presence in a few minutes. So He stood. He cares.
Note also that His title, “The Son of Man,” is used here. As the Son of Man, He can identify with the needs of all men — all people … their burdens, their sorrows, their fatigue, their persecutions.
Stephen was prepared for martyrdom before it took place. He was given a special blessing for a special occasion. When the stones came crushing in upon Stephen, he was able to pray for those who were attacking him unjustly. He had been given dying grace by his living Saviour.
Christians do not face trouble alone.
Their loving Saviour understands.
Jesus always rises to the occasion.