"Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" (Acts 7:56)
Stephen was one of the first deacons (1), and the first Christian martyred for his faith. His bold stand and testimony not only impacted those hearing him on earth, but also heaven. I can imagine in my mind's eye that the Lord, seeing His faithful Stephen, standing and saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant... Enter into the joy of your LORD."(2) Stephen saw the light, not at the end of the proverbial tunnel, but at the beginning of it. He did not have a near death experience; he had a full life experience. He saw the Lord at his death because he knew the Lord during his life. Stephen's martyrdom was glorious, not because of any human sacrifice, but because of the sacrifice of Christ. He could not be frightened by death-death was the door to eternal life. He would not only testify of Christ, he would be with Him in paradise. Muse on these words, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"