“And falling on his knees, he cried out loudly, Lord, fix not this sin upon them, lay it not to their charge! And when he had said this, he fell asleep in death.” Acts 7:60 Amplified
Our verse today ends the short but important episode in the book of Acts which tells us about Stephen, the first Christian martyr. He has been dragged out of the city to be stoned by the crowd who would not listen to him as he told them of their sin against God. Included in that group was the apostle Paul, before his conversion he was known as Saul. One can only wonder at the torment Paul would later suffer knowing he played a role in Stephen’s death, though he may not have lifted a stone, he did nothing to stop it.
The key for me from our verse today and this sad ending is that it’s actually not a sad ending. When we think of someone dying and especially a painful death we are saddened, but when that person is a believer it’s truly a day to rejoice. As carnal beings all we know is this world and those other carnal beings around us. Oh, but what glory to travel on to a better, brighter life. All humans will live eternally, they make the choice of where it will be. To view moving on to heaven as glorious and leaving this earth behind with its pain, worry and sadness, can only be truly appreciated when we do as Stephen did, place no blame on anyone else. He had forgiven those who were spiritually blind and we should too. It’s never easy to love and forgive those who are unlovable, but it’s what the Lord calls us to do, because those are the ones who need it the most.