Lord’s Day July 5
But being full of the Holy Spirit, having fixed His eyes on heaven, he saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, Lo, I behold the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God. Acts 7:55-56 JND
Christ at the Right Hand of God (6)
We find at the end of Acts 6 that Stephen is brought before the Jewish council. They intend to pass judgment upon him, but in fact, the tables are turned. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Stephen, in chapter 7 presents an indictment upon them of always resisting the Holy Spirit, and now rejecting the Just One, even as their fathers had rejected Joseph and Moses.
So powerful and irrefutable is this word that all the rulers can do in their fury is to take Stephen out to stone him.
It has often been noted that this reaction of the rulers is really the fulfillment of the Lord’s parable in Luke 19, where He said that the nobleman’s citizens would send a message after him, saying: “We will not that this man should reign over us” (v. 14) .
The calmness of Stephen in this scene is quite remarkable. What is his secret? His eyes were fixed on another scene outside this world altogether. He began his discourse before the council speaking of the God of glory, and now he sees Jesus standing at the right hand of the glory of God!
Why is the Lord standing at God’s right hand here? We know that He is seated as far as the work of redemption is concerned (Heb. 10:12) . It may indicate His readiness to return to bless His earthly people Israel if only they would have received Him as the exalted Christ (Acts 3:19-21) . But could it also be that He was standing there ready to receive Stephen, so soon to be martyred, to Himself? Stephen, like his Master, was rejected by earth, but was to be received by heaven. Not angels were there to welcome him, but the blessed Lord Himself. “Absent from the body and present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8) .