At the Right Hand of the Throne of God

Judy Dunagan
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In order to put our trust in God for our protection and victory, we need to know deep down in our souls that He is truly our Victor. Have you ever considered what it means that Jesus ascended and sits at the right hand of the throne of God and how that applies to our here and now, everyday lives?

We can only imagine the celebration of the angels once Jesus was finally back in their midst after He ascended from earth and “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3). What awe and wonder there must have been when He sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, signifying that His work on earth was finished, death had been defeated, and He was home!

Did shouts of praise, songs of adoration, even tears of joy fill the heavenly realms as He took His seat? (I know we are told in Scripture that there will be no tears in heaven, but I like to think tears of joy will be there, as that is one of the most beautiful of all human emotions, don’t you think?)

The Authority of Christ

Jesus Christ’s position of authority and victory at the right hand of the Father was purchased through the excruciating death and victorious resurrection and through the glorious ascension of our Savior. So often most of the teaching we hear in our churches or Bible studies focuses on the sacrificial earthly life and death of Christ and His resurrection—all essentials of our Christian faith. But we often overlook or diminish what Jesus Christ accomplished through His ascension to the right hand of His Father.

I see the ascension of Christ as the crescendo of His “It is finished!” victory cry from the cross. After His death and resurrection, and after forty days with His beloved disciples, Jesus ascended to heaven and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. I love how Darrell Bock, a seminary research professor, describes the ascension of Christ: “The ascension is not just a departure; it is also an arrival.”

Bible teacher Christine Gordon describes this glorious scene:

When he stands in the presence of God and takes his place on the throne, he represents all who are redeemed, therefore giving us access to the throne room. The ascension is not an afterthought or a way to wrap up the story. The ascension is the coronation of the king, the finishing of his work, the beginning of his heavenly reign and of his giving of gifts to the church. The true triumphal entry happened when the King of Kings, having accomplished his work on earth, returned to heaven as the exalted king.

“We do not fight in order to win but because in Christ we have already won.”

But what does this heavenly reign mean to us today? Do we imagine Jesus there as if He’s just waiting to return one day? What is He currently doing?

Too often when we read the gospel account of the ascension in Luke, we think of it only as an ending to the earthly ministry of Christ, almost as if He is deserting His beloved disciples right when they are finally understanding who He is and need Him the most. Instead, it is the triumphal entry of the King, as Gordon so eloquently describes it. And, as we see at the closing of the book of Luke, this moment is a sending out of the disciples to carry the gospel to the world:

“You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God. (Luke 24:48–53)

The Bible speaks often about the “right hand of God,” but what does that really mean? We see in Scripture that the right hand of God is used as a symbol of God’s power, His protection, and His presence, but also of His judgment. And it is a symbol of His triumphant victory and the defeat of God’s enemies.

The powerful word picture of “the right hand of God” is mentioned many times in the Old Testament. The Psalms provide particularly stunning references in the context of God’s sovereign protection and power at His right hand (see Psalms 16:8; 63:8; 89:13; 139:10, to name just a few).

In Exodus 15:6, we’re told, “Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.”

Oh, how we need to know what shatters the enemy!

David’s Prophecy Fulfilled

King David prophesied about this position of Christ, long before the birth of his Messiah: “The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool’” (Psalm 110:1). Jesus even quoted this psalm as He defended His position as the Son of God before the religious leaders of the day (see Luke 20:42).

The New Testament repeatedly uses this phrase as well, but in reference to the position of authority held by the resurrected and ascended Christ. In Ephesians 1:21, we are told that Jesus is “above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” In fact, Jesus Himself proclaimed His seated position at the right hand of God while He was under arrest and facing His crucifixion!

When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” (Luke 22:66–69)

From now on!

Let that sink in if you find yourself questioning His power and position of authority when this earthly life rages over you. Let that sink in when your friends or family try to sway you away from your faith in the risen and reigning Jesus.

Those Scriptures shout the truth of the victory, power, and authority of our Lord Jesus, and we have all of that same victory, power, and authority because we are His. Said another way:

We do not fight for victory; we fight from victory. We do not fight in order to win but because in Christ we have already won. Overcomers are those who rest in the victory already given to them by their God.

Don’t you love that? Because of Jesus Christ, we do not need to “fight for victory; we fight from victory!” In Christ, we have already won!

Jesus Is the Victor

Oh, yes, the battles will continue to rage as we walk through this earthly life. But we must learn to cling to the truth that we are not fighting for victory, but we are fighting from victory. When the battles and storms of life hit us hard (and they will), may we remember and cling to the truth that our Lord Jesus has triumphed over the evil one: “Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15 NIV).

He has triumphed! He has won! He is the Victor! He is greater than the evil one who roars! Let’s not believe the lie that the enemy has more power or influence than our God. First John 4:4 reminds us: “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

That is our victory cry. That is our victory roar.

For Further Reading:

The Loudest Roar

by Judy Dunagan

Take heart. The enemy’s roar is but a whisper in the presence of our mighty God.  Do you often feel stuck battling the same fears,...

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