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Friday, 26 September 2014

Constantin on Stephen's Death

Lord, do not hold this sin against them. (Acts 7:60)

Constantin Caraman 

I would like to end the list of ordinary people who did extraordinary things with Stephen. After he had proclaimed the Gospel in Jerusalem, he was in serious trouble. Some of the onlookers attacked him and dragged him out, intending to kill him. "Away with him," they shouted, "we don't want to listen to this any longer."
Stephen knew there could be a reaction like this.

 After all, the disciples had been picked up and punished several times already. Yet, none of them had been stoned and killed. Stephen would be the first martyr.

When they started throwing stones at him, he could have cried, "Lord, help me, they are going too far. Lord, send down a fire from heaven to destroy these people. You don't want me to die, do you?"

While the stones came down and hit him, he knelt down and prayed. What did he pray for? Did he pray for strength to remain faithful? No, he prayed for those who cursed him, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them."

Until his last breath he had compassion on the sinners, and in doing so, he followed Christ's example.

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