“They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!’ Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’ Having said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:59-60).
Two things are incredibly noteworthy about Stephen’s final prayer. First, he prays to Jesus. For a first-century Jew to address Jesus in prayer as “Lord” means that Stephen had a very clear understanding of our Savior’s divine identity. Second, Stephen’s big-Jesus theology (i.e., a correct understanding of the biblical Jesus) enabled him to do something truly supernatural: he died without bitterness! Given all the ways people hurt us (sometimes in reality, other times in our perception only), only a truly biblical theology can empower us to die without carrying rocks in our hands! Dear God, please enable us to live (and die) without grudges. Help us look to, and speak with the Lord Jesus, especially in those moments we have been hurt by people whom we really love.
״But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing'” (Luke 23:34).
Help us look to, and speak with the Lord Jesus, especially in those moments we have been hurt by people whom we really love.