Theology Thursday: At God's Right Hand

By Amanda Jenkins

Praying hands are accompanied by a cross and Bible

Jesus Christ is the eternally begotten (not made) son of God the Father. We believe that he has been God for all of eternity, but at a particular time, and in a particular place – namely the time of the four gospel accounts – he became a human. God taking the form of humanity is what we call the incarnation. Jesus’s life, death and resurrection are all done while he is God incarnate – God in human form – and after the resurrection we see that Jesus ascends to heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father, also incarnate. Jesus Christ goes back to heaven after his life on earth and reigns there.

Jesus and the Father

The line from the Apostles' Creed “He sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty” has both theological and practical implications. The “right hand” is seen as a place of honor and status throughout the biblical text. When the Bible makes statements that Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of the Father, it is affirming that he has equal status to the Father within the Godhead (Hebrews 1:3, 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22; Acts 7:55-56).

An example of this can be seen in 1 Peter 3:22,

“(Jesus) Who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities and powers having been subjected to him" – ESV 

All things in creation are under the power of the throne of God. Jesus Christ is forever reigning at the right hand of God the Father.

Jesus and the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:33 shows how the Father, the Son and the Spirit are all working together to allow humanity to know God. It states,

“Being, therefore, exalted at the right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing”

In the incarnation Jesus accomplishes all that is necessary for salvation. When Jesus ascends to heaven the Holy Spirit descends. The Holy Spirit has been active since the creation of the world, but since the descending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost he is actively moving to apply the hope and benefits of salvation. Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, but the Spirit is given to humanity in order to continue to reveal the Triune God. It is through the interworking of the Trinity that Christians draw their faith and confidence.

Jesus and Humanity

At times in the biblical text we see that Jesus’s placement at the right hand allows him to intercede for humanity, namely believers (Roman 8:34). Jesus’s uniqueness of being fully God and fully man allows him to be the human at the right hand of God. As an eternal human, Jesus’s placement at the right hand of the Father should instill comfort and hope for all humans who believe in him.

Furthermore Hebrews 8:1 states,

“Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven”

As our great High Priest, Jesus Christ eternally bridges the gap between the perfection and holiness of God, and the sinfulness of humanity. Jesus’s placement at the right hand of the Father makes him our eternal mediator.

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