|Volume 22 Number 3 March 2020||
When Jesus was on earth, he always did the things that pleased His Father (John 8:29). Jesus never committed a sin, and He never did anything that was not consistent with the will of God in Heaven. As Jesus was preparing to die on the cross, He said, “I have glorified you on earth, having finished the work that you gave me to do” (John 17:4). Jesus’ earthly mission was complete with His death, burial, resurrection and ascension. However, Jesus did not cease working completely when He returned to Heaven. The Bible depicts Jesus as being at the right hand of God in Heaven and being very active. Being at God’s right hand denotes authority, power, prestige and royalty equal to God. Jesus at God’s right hand is further evidence of His reigning and ruling as Christ (Acts 2:36; 5:33). Notice the work that Jesus does at the right hand of God.
Interceding for Christians
In Romans 8, Paul spoke of the victory Christians enjoy since we are free from condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1). God’s Spirit indwells Christians, by which they can call God their Father in a special way that is foreign to the rest of the world (Romans 8:14-15). Paul goes on to say that God justifies us through Christ and that Christ is at God’s right hand, making intercession for us (Romans 8:33-34). The writer of the Book of Hebrews wrote that He “always lives to makes intercession for us” (Hebrews 7:25, ESV). Jesus entreats God in our favor.
As our elder Brother Who has lived on earth and experienced the hardships that we face, Jesus can plead our case before God. While ruling at God’s right hand, Jesus remembers those in His kingdom and speaks to God on our behalf. Jesus prayed for us before the cross, and He is still speaking to God for us long after the events of the cross (John 17:20-21). What a blessing to know that along with the Holy Spirit of God, God the Son is also interceding for us (Romans 8:26).
Rulers in the world who have some measure of power often find themselves defending it. World leaders must constantly be vigilant and on guard as their adversaries are vying for their spot. However, the Bible describes Jesus as not only being exalted to God’s right hand but sitting down at the right of God (Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3). To be sitting down at the right of God shows that Jesus’ position of power and authority is unthreatened and unrivaled. He is not up defending it, and nor is He concerned that some unwanted intruder will enter into the corridors of Heaven and encroach upon His rule. Jesus is comfortably seated on His exalted throne as He enjoys His status sitting on the right hand of God (Luke 22:6).
While Jesus is sitting on the right hand of God, He is waiting for all of His enemies to become His footstool (Acts 2:34-35). In His death and resurrection, Jesus dealt the death blow to the powers of darkness. He is described as having triumphed over all principalities and powers (Colossians 2:15). Still, the last enemy that will be defeated is death. When the resurrection takes place and all of humanity is raised, then Jesus’ kingdom will be delivered up to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28). Jesus sits at the right hand of God ruling, reigning and anticipating the culmination of this world as He leads His people into the eternal age.
Observing Human Affairs
Luke records that as Stephen was stoned for the unwelcomed truth he preached, he saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God (Acts 7:55). Stephen then spoke to the crowd and told them, “Behold I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56). As Stephen was being martyred for the Christian faith, Jesus was watching and looking, no doubt looking on Stephen’s faith with approval (Matthew 10:32-33). While at the right hand of God, Jesus sees what His people are enduring, and He supplies strength for us through His Word and through His church. In Revelation, John describes Jesus as walking among the churches and observing the good and bad within them (Revelation 2:1). We should be both comforted and challenged by the nearness of our Lord (Philippians 4:5). Even though He is in Heaven at God’s right hand, He views what we do while in this land (Proverbs 15:3).
Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins and sat down at God’s right hand (Hebrews 10:12). Jesus’ earthly work was done at that point, but His heavenly ministry on behalf of His disciples continues. We are thankful that Jesus intercedes, sits and observes at the right hand of God (1 Peter 3:22)!
Remember the Days of Darkness
A popular holiday song has the refrain, “may all your days be happy and bright.” Such is the wish of all who live. It would be nice if there were no days of stress, worry, illness, poverty and death. Reality, though, quickly destroys such a dream. Job observed that man “is short-lived and full of turmoil” (Job 14:1). In view of this harsh reality, Solomon offers two truths.
First, all will have “days of darkness” (Ecclesiastes 11:8). We simply will not and cannot avoid those days of darkness. This is an undeniable fact. So, what should we do with this information? We should use it to our advantage. The saying is true that says, “forewarned, forearmed!” If I know, in advance, that I will have “days of darkness,” then I am: (a) not surprised or caught off guard by them; (b) have time to mentally prepare for those days of trouble (1 Peter 1:13; 4:12-13; 5:8); (c) can use those days to make me a better, stronger person (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:1-4).
Second, all should remember those dark days. This point is surprising. Frequently we try to forget those low points in our lives. Solomon cautioned not to do that. Rather, we should purposely call those days to mind (Hebrews 10:32-34). Why? (a) It will help us and prepare us in case future troubles come; (b) It will remind us how God delivered us even in the bleakest of times; (c) It will make the present joys more valuable and enjoyable.