Drop the Rock!

With fear that I’ll be thought of as much older than I am, the kids sometimes call the basketball “the rock.” In any basketball game, you may hear: “dunk the rock” -- “pass the rock” -- “lost the handle of the rock.” While we’ve had fun talking basketball alongside Acts 7, today the rocks we’ll discuss are actual ones. Real ones. Painful ones.

One of my favorite moments in the Bible involves Jesus and rocks. Pharisees thought they had pushed Him into a trap, and they could head off to dinner feeling vindicated. And yet, standing next to the “adulterous woman,” Jesus called all the sinless people in the crowd to go ahead and throw their stones. Can you imagine the sound of all those stones hitting the dirt rather than flesh?

You’ve heard the quote: “You could hear a pin drop…” Well, this day you could hear the rocks drop, and I know it had to be deafening.

When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
(Acts 7:54-60)

Here we are once again dealing with rocks. This time, Jesus wasn’t there to intervene, and Stephen was the one facing an angry crowd with stones in their hands. Being filled with the Holy Spirit, he looked toward his Father and asked to be welcomed into heaven. He could have hung his head, and yet he leaned directly into his faith and stood firm in it. Now, can you imagine hearing the sound of all those stones hitting flesh rather than dirt?

Today we don’t see a lot of stoning; but, friends, you have to know… stones are still being thrown. Harsh words, lies, judgments and more are stones people throw every day; and when they connect with skin, they are indeed painful. So, consider that today you have a stone in your hand. Are you letting it drop or are you throwing it at flesh?

By Carrie Peterson

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