Acts Chapter 7

This is such an amazing chapter, we have the paths of Stephen the first Christian martyr and the future Apostle Paul (Saul of Tarsus), intersecting in this monumental event.

Stephen starts out by addressing the Jewish counsel respectively as brothers and fathers, then he methodically goes through the history of Israel from Abraham to Jesus. If you have never read the Old Testament and were given a transcript of Stephen's testimony before the Jewish counsel you would have a pretty good idea of Jewish history up to that point. 

Stephen is on a roll until he gets to v51-53 and the Jewish leaders lose their minds! While the leaders are enraged and about ready to kill him Stephen says something amazing “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”My question is why is Jesus “standing”? In Hebrews 1:3 we are told “… When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.”Jesus is seated, but Stephen sees Him standing to receive him into heaven. What joy it would be to see Jesus standing to welcome home those that love and believe in Him!

Finally, V58 is where Saul and Stephens's paths crossing for the last time. I kind of think that Stephen's vision of heaven opening up and Jesus standing there to greet him laid the groundwork for Saul to become Paul; he may have longed to see what Stephen saw that day.