“Christ sits at the place of honor at God’s right hand” (Colossians 3:1) “Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” (Acts 7:55)

There are two verses in the New Testament, that might leave you scratching your head about what Jesus is doing as he awaits his orders from the Father to return to this earth in all his splendor and glory.  The first is Colossians 3:1 – There we are told that he is “seated in the place of honor at God’s right hand.”  Hebrews 1:3 collaborates that by telling us that “after purging our sins, he sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high.”  But there has been one time since he ascended into heaven that Jesus has risen to his feet and stood watching in close attention.  We read about it in Acts 7:55, at the account of Stephen being stoned to death.  As this young man looked up into heaven, he saw Jesus “standing at the right hand of God.”  Now, what about Stephen would be so important that Jesus Christ would get up off his throne and stand in close attention?

The key is in what Stephen prayed as he was dying from the hands of a mob of angry self-righteous Sanhedrins.  Acts 7:60 tells us that with his dying breath, Stephen cried out, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin.”  What a heart young Stephen had!  While taking his last breath, as rocks plummeted his dying body, dear Stephen asked his Savior to forgive these hypocritical religious leaders.

When people hurt us, abuse us, use us, speak evil to us, our human nature wants revenge, wondering how to get even for what they have done to us.  Or we think of how soon their punishment will come – how quickly they will reap what they have sown.  But not Stephen.  Stephen interceded for their forgiveness for the wicked vile hatred they were raining down upon his battered body.

And for that.  For that kind of love.  For that kind of forgiving heart – Jesus Christ rose to his feet!  This is what Jesus does when he sees someone love their enemies, when he sees one of his children victorious over temptation, when he sees us defeat sin, when he watches us overcome in mercy and love, when he watches us live a life of greatness for his glory.  It causes our Lord to rise to his feet, like a proud parent, almost as if to applaud for an ongoing curtain call.  Stephen’s righteous act of forgiveness pleased his Savior.

So, I encourage you to do something extraordinary this week.  Do something great for Jesus Christ.  Do something that goes beyond and above in character, love, and kindness.  Do something that is going to cause the One seated at the right hand of God stand up and applaud you!