‘If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1, 2).’
Do not confuse ‘the right hand of God’ with being ‘at the right hand of God.’ The former is a symbolic representation of God’s power. He is said to wield His power through His right hand [Click * below for more.]. Christ is said to be ‘sitting at the right hand of God (v 1)’ where He waits ‘till His enemies are made His footstool (Hebrews 10:13).’
This understanding of Jesus, the Man (Acts 2:22; Romans 5:15) who is the Christ, the One who waits at the right hand of His Father, comes from the much quoted first verse of Psalm 110, which goes as follows:
‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’
Jesus used this verse to silence the Pharisees. They had tried to catch Him out after the Sadducees had failed (Matthew 22:23-33). The former questioned Him on the Law – asking what is the greatest commandment? He told them to love the LORD their God with all their heart, soul and mind (V 37).
Then He challenged them by asking, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He (v 42)?” They replied, “The Son of David.” So Jesus said, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord’, saying: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” “If David calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son (v 45)?”’ They were gobsmacked! None dared question Him further (V 46).
What is Meant by ‘at’ the Right Hand of God?
To start with, God the Father doesn’t have a literal right side; for He is Spirit (John 4:24); so the writers of the Bible use figurative and symbolic language to convey imagery of an anthropomorphic God, i.e., One who resembles a human. They refer to Him as ‘He’. They give Him a gender; whereas He is neither male nor female. He is the Almighty, **All-powerful God who has always existed, along with the Son and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2). He is the One ‘who is and who was and who is to come (Revelation 1:4),’ the Great I AM (Exodus 3:14).
How did Jesus come to sit ‘at’ the right hand of God?
God the Father sent Him (John 3:34) on a mission which He accomplished impeccably to the letter. He obeyed the Mosaic law and fulfilled the Prophets (Matthew 5:17). He established the New Covenant in His blood (26:28) and He paid the price for the forgiveness of sins for all His elect. He died on their behalf to save them from everlasting damnation. He lived a perfect life and died a death for them in complete obedience to His Father at unimaginable cost beyond our understanding, and He was ***raised from the dead by His Father.
Jesus said, “Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God (Luke 22:69).”’
Jesus knew exactly what would happen (Matthew 26:2). He would have to suffer as a Man – He came to the earth to give Himself as a like-for-like sacrifice acceptable to His Father. An animal’s life could not atone for any human’s life (Hebrews 10:4), but the Father could accept the sacrifice of His Son, because He was a perfect, unblemished Human, without fault and without sin (Hebrews 4:15). His once for all time sacrifice (10:12,13) acquired eternal atonement for the forgiven. The pain and suffering endured by Him was more than sufficient to cover their sins, imperfections and their rebellion into eternity, and the shedding of His blood secured their pardon (Romans 5:9).
God was well pleased with His Son (Matthew 17:5).
Luke wrote the words of Peter, ‘“This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God …….. let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:32, 33, 36) .”’
Figuratively and symbolically, Jesus is seated in the place of power at, ‘the right hand of God.’ He is the One who will come to the earth for His elect (Matthew 16:27), and the One who will judge (Acts 17:31) the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5) at the ***resurrection. Psalm 110 declares: ‘The Lord [Adoni – not Jehovah] is at Your right hand; He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath (v 5).’
‘But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool (Hebrews 10:12, 13).’
‘Therefore ……… let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1, 2).’
*Does God Really Have a Right Hand?
**The Omniscience, Omnipotence and Omnipresence of God