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JESUS - SEATED AT GOD’S RIGHT HAND

 

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, January 28, 2001

"We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand
of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of
the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord
pitched, and not man" (Hebrews 8:1-2).                 

When Jesus went to Jerusalem for the last time, the Jews looked for Him and said, "Where is he?" (John 7:11). Many thousands of people today are as lost and confused as they were. "Where is he?" They have no idea where Jesus is. They call themselves Christians, yet they don’t have any more idea of where Jesus is today than those people did in Jerusalem long ago.
In Hebrews 8:1 we are told exactly where Christ is at this time. Verse one says, "Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum (the main point): We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." Dr. J. Vernon McGee gives this comment:
Christ did something which no priest in the Old Testament ever did. There is not a priest in the line of Aaron who ever had a chair in the tabernacle where he sat down. He was on the run all the time. Why? Because he had work to do. All these things are shadows that point to a finished sacrifice. Now that Christ has died, all has been fulfilled…He sat down because He had finished our redemption.
     (J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible, volume V, p. 557).

And we are told exactly where Christ sat down after He ascended into Heaven: "On the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens" (Hebrews 8:1b).

Now look at Hebrews 10:12. It says:
"But this man (Christ), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God" (Hebrews 10:12).

That verse answers the false claim of the Catholic Church that Christ is offered up as a sacrifice in each Mass. The text says, "After he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever." Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross was done once "for ever." When He died, Jesus said, "It is finished" (John 19:30). Jesus paid the penalty for all of your sins once, on the Cross. There is no need for a new sacrifice in the Mass. The moment that you believe in Jesus, what He did to pay for your sins on the Cross becomes yours. Your sins are all paid for. "It is finished."

But then the verse continues:
"After he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God" (Hebrews 10:12).

Jesus sat down at the right side of God, up in Heaven, in another dimension. That’s where He is right now!

Let us consider three things about this great doctrine:
      1. Where Jesus sat down
      2. When Jesus sat down
      3. Why Jesus sat down



I. Where Jesus sat down

 
We have already seen in these verses that He sat down at God’s right hand in Heaven. Jesus told us He would do that before He was crucified. Jesus said:
"Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth" (Luke 22:69-71).

Matthew records these words of Jesus, shortly before He was crucified:

"Jesus saith unto him (the high priest), Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent (or tore) his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him (i.e. beat Him); and others smote (hit) him with the palms of their hands, Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?" (Matthew 26:64-68).

He was spit on and beaten for saying that He would sit "on the right hand of power" (Matthew 26:64).

Oh, how clear are these words of Jesus, given the night before they crucified Him! How plainly He said that He would "sit on the right hand of the power of God"! (Luke 22:69).
Then, the New Testament tells us repeatedly where Jesus sat down after He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. In Mark 16:19, we read this clear statement:
"So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat down on the right hand of God" (Mark 16:19).
In his great sermon at Pentecost, Peter said:
"This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool" (Acts 2:32-35).

Peter quoted from Psalm 110:1,

"The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool" (Psalm 110:1).

This prophetic verse in the Psalms revealed in advance that Jesus would sit down at the right hand of God in Heaven.

In another sermon, recorded in the Book of Acts, Peter said:
"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour…" (Acts 5:30-31).
Stephen’s great sermon before the Sanhedrin council ended with them stoning him to death. As he died, Stephen said:
"Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:56).

Dr. J. Vernon McGee gives this touching comment:

Stephen goes into the presence of Christ who is standing to meet him. Stephen is the first martyr of the church to go to be with his Lord.                                           
      (J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible, volume IV, p. 541).
This statement of Stephen’s made a great impression on the unconverted Paul, who heard him say, "I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God" (Acts 7:56). Paul was nearby and heard Stephen say this (cf. Acts 7:58). It made a great impression on Paul to hear those words from Stephen as he was being stoned to death. Dr. McGee comments:
Stephen was a tremendous witness to Saul (later named Paul). Stephen was the one, I believe, who prepared Saul (Paul) for the appearance of the Lord Jesus on the Damascus road.
     (J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible, ibid.)
This message of Stephen’s was burned forever into Paul’s soul. Later, after he was converted, Paul wrote:
"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8:34).
Again, Paul wrote,
"According to the working of his (God’s) mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:19-20).
Again, in the Epistle to the Colossians, Paul said:
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth"
     (Colossians 3:1-2).
In Hebrews 12:2, Paul writes:
"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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).

Earlier in this Epistle, he said that Christ "sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3). He said, "We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens" (Hebrews 8:1). Again, he said, "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God" (Hebrews 10:12).

Peter also wrote about this glorious subject. He said:
"Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him" (I Peter 3:22).
I have given you many of the statements in the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments, which show beyond any shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is now in Heaven, seated at the right side of God Almighty.
Yet, when a pastor asks questions of those who come for counselling after his sermons, he will repeatedly discover that the average lost person in church does not know where Jesus is. Can we blame lost people who come to visit church a time or two for not knowing where the Saviour is if most unconverted church members don’t know?
A Sunday School teacher once told me, "Christ is in the air all around us." That is a common misconception today. I think it comes into our churches indirectly from the New Age movement. But it is a deadly error. A person may know the plan of salvation, and be in church every Sunday, but if he is as ignorant of the location of Christ as that Sunday School teacher, he is still lost. How about you? If you think Jesus is in the air all around you, you are still lost. I don’t care who you are, or what position you hold in a church. No one can be saved without believing in Jesus. And no one can believe in Jesus unless he knows where Jesus is. That’s why the Bible repeatedly, in verse after verse, in chapter after chapter, in the Psalms, in Matthew, in Mark, in Luke, in Acts, in Romans, in Ephesians, in Colossians, in Hebrews, in I Peter, and in many other books of the Bible, tells us where Jesus is located right now. These many, many verses would not be in the Bible if God didn’t think it was highly important for you to know where Christ is located today.
If you don’t know where He is, you are as lost as those Jews who said, "Where is he?" (John 7:11). You are as confused as poor Mary Magdalene who came weeping to the tomb of Jesus and said, "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him" (John 20:13). I personally don’t think Mary was saved yet, until she received the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). She said, "They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him" because she was not yet converted, in my judgment. "I know not where they have laid him," many lost people say, who think they are saved. They don’t know where Jesus is any more than Mary did.
People cannot come to Jesus unless they know where He is. Jesus said:
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

But no one can do that, no one can come to Jesus, unless the person knows that He is in Heaven, at God’s right hand.

I belabor this point because many preachers will read this sermon on the Internet. Preacher, if you don’t ask lost people where they think Jesus is, they will not know where to come to Him! You must give them the Bible answer. Many lost people will say that Jesus is in their hearts. But He isn’t. If they believe and trust a Jesus in their own hearts, they will go to Hell.
I asked one girl, "Where is Jesus right now?" She wrongly said, "He’s in my heart." I said, "How big is He?" She replied, "He’s about a half inch high, and He walked through a little door, made in a hole in my heart." She learned this absurd nonsense in Sunday School. She should have been told where Jesus really is – in Heaven, at the right hand of God.
You can’t come to Jesus if you don’t know where He is. And this is not an unimportant issue, or a side issue, at all! It is at the very heart of the gospel, repeated over and over, throughout the Bible. If the resurrection and ascension of Christ aren’t central parts of the gospel, what is?
 Preacher, you have to ask your people where they think Jesus is, or they will go to Hell. They cannot believe in Him, trust Him, and come to Him if they don’t know where He is! Thousands of people in Baptist churches are lost because they were told to come to Jesus and believe in Him without being told where He is! This happens because preachers don’t explain the resurrection and ascension of Christ often enough. I now find that I at least mention these doctrines in virtually every sermon! Romans 10:9 and I Corinthians 15:17 show the centrality of the resurrection of Christ. This should be proclaimed in all of our evangelistic sermons, along with His ascension and mediatorial work in Heaven. Another reason so many people are confused on this subject is because preachers don’t ask simple questions like this: "Where is Jesus right now?" Preacher, you have to know what they think! You can only find out by asking questions! Even if you preach on this subject and explain it, many will not hear what you are saying. Only by asking questions can you find out whether they "got it."

 

II. But, secondly, let us think about when Jesus sat down in Heaven at
       God’s right hand. When did this happen?

 
First, He sat down at God’s right hand after He purged our sins on the Cross. That means He sat down after He was crucified and resurrected.
"When he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3b).
Second, He sat down at God’s right hand after He offered His Blood in Heaven:
"For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man (Jesus) have somewhat also to offer" (Hebrews 8:3).
"But into the second (the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle) went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for…the errors of the people"  (Hebrews 9:7).
"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place (the Holy of Holies in Heaven), having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Hebrews 9:12).
Dr. J. Vernon McGee comments on that verse:
I believe this verse proves that Christ took His blood literally to Heaven. If that is not what the writer is talking about here, I do not know what he is saying.
     (J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible, volume V, p. 566).

 

III. This leads us to the last point of the sermon – Why Jesus sat down.

 
He sat down after He presented His precious Blood in the Holy of Holies in Heaven. "He entered into the holy place" (Hebrews 9:12) and put His Blood on the heavenly Ark of the Covenant. The Bible says that our high priest went in "not without blood" (Hebrews 9:7; cf. 9:11, 24). Dr. McGee says:
I say to you very definitely and dogmatically that I believe His Blood is even now in Heaven, and throughout endless ages it will be there to remind us of the awful price Christ paid to redeem us.                                                     
     (J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible, volume V, p. 560).
C. H. Spurgeon said:
I know that his precious blood in heaven prevails with God on behalf of them that come unto him: And since I come unto Him, I know by faith that I have an interest in his perpetual intercession.
      (C. H. Spurgeon, "The Warrant of Faith," Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 9, p. 530).
His Blood atoned for all our race                              
  And sprinkles now the throne of grace,                      
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.                        
  ("Arise! My Soul, Arise!" by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

Christ sat down at the right hand of God after He had placed His incorruptible Blood on the mercy seat, in the Holy of Holies, in Heaven. "The blood of sprinkling" is listed as one of the things in Heaven (Hebrews 12:22-24).

But Christ sat down for another highly important reason. He sat down to pray for you. In Hebrews 7:25 we are told:
"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost (i.e. forever) that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession (to pray) for them" (Hebrews 7:25).
Often I have nearly quit the Christian life, or nearly stumbled. I am greatly surprised to find myself in the ministry after forty-three years. There have been so many pitfalls, so many battles, so many discouragements, so many personal weaknesses, so many doubts, fears, disappointments, and so little faith on my part. I often find myself saying with Paul, "Who is sufficient for these things?" (II Corinthians 2:16). I am really quite surprised that I am still in the ministry after forty-three years! How have I been able to go on all these years? Not by my own strength or power, I can assure you!
But I have a Saviour, who’s praying for me in Heaven. And His prayers are effectual. When Jesus prays for this poor, bald-headed, stoop-shouldered, discouraged little inner-city preacher, again and again, God answers the prayers of His Son for me. I am saved forever because "he ever liveth to make intercession for (me)" (Hebrews 7:25).
I have heard good men say, "The key to the Christian life is your prayers." There is a great deal of truth to that. But I’d rather say, "The main key to the Christian life is Jesus’ prayers for you!"
He ever lives above, for me to intercede;       
His all-redeeming love, His precious blood to plead.       
The Father hears Him pray, His dear anointed One;       
He cannot turn away The presence of His Son.       
     ("Arise! My Soul, Arise!" by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).
Never forget where Jesus is – at God’s right hand in Heaven. Never forget why He is there. He presented His Blood to God, to cover and wash your sins. Never forget that He sits hour after hour praying for you. With Jesus praying for you, how can you fail? The whole secret of your Christian life, the whole secret of the very existence of our church, is this: Jesus is praying for us. And He is praying for you, sinner. Jesus is praying for you to trust Him, believe in Him, and let Him save you. Jesus Christ is praying for you to get saved by believing in Him.
I have a Saviour, He’s pleading in glory,              
A dear, loving Saviour, though earth friends be few;              
And now He is watching in tenderness o’er me,              
But oh, that my Saviour were your Saviour too!              
For you He is praying, for you He is praying,              
For you He is praying, He’s praying for you.              
          ("I Am Praying For You" by S. O’Malley Clough,, 1837-1910,
                  chorus altered by R. L. Hymers, Jr.)

Scripture Read Before Sermon: Hebrews 7:23-27.

Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "I Am Praying For You"
                                       by S. O’Malley Clough, 1837-1910.
 

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."

THE OUTLINE OF

JESUS - SEATED AT GOD’S RIGHT HAND

 

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand
of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of
the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord
pitched, and not man" (Hebrews 8:1-2). John 7:11;         
Hebrews 10:12; John 19:30                                          

       

    1. Where Jesus sat down, Luke 22:69-71; Matthew 26:64-48; Mark 16:19; Acts 2:32-35; Psalm 110:1; Acts 5:30-31; Acts 7:56; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:19-20; Colossians 3:1-2; Hebrews 12:2; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 10:12; I Peter 3:22; John 7:11;
      John 20:13; John 20:22; Matthew 11:28.
    2. When Jesus sat down, Hebrews 1:3b; Hebrews 8:3; Hebrews 9:7;
      Hebrews 9:12.
    3. Why Jesus sat down, Hebrews 7:25; II Corinthians 2:16.