One of the most powerful speeches recorded in the Bible is that of the first martyr Stephen (Acts 7). As he summarized Israel’s history in front of the Sanhedrin (70 chief priests, scribes and elders), he reminded them of their ancestors’ refusal to listen to Moses and their repudiation of the Mosaic Law. Instead of following Moses, they wanted to return to their former place of slavery—Egypt.
In the same way, as Stephen would soon accuse them, they were refusing their ultimate Rescuer—Jesus—and were turning back to bondage under the Law (Galatians 5.1). By rejecting Moses’ coming Prophet, the Jews would remain captive in their sin. This powerful message led to Stephen’s death by stoning. His execution was supervised by Saul of Tarsus (soon to be the redeemed Paul, the author of much of the New Testament).
We all know people who’ve rejected the Rescuer Jesus. Perhaps they’ve never believed. Maybe at one time they did believe and have now walked away from the faith. Remembering God’s patience, “…not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3.9), pray specifically today for these people. Pray for God’s Spirit to work powerfully in their hearts as he leads them to repentance.