I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth
And in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried.
He descended into hades;
The third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sits on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty
What does it mean that Jesus sits at God’s right hand?
First of all, Jesus predicted this. At His trial, Luke records the following dialogue:
If you are the Messiah,’ they said, ‘tell us.’
Jesus answered, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.’
They all asked, ‘Are you then the Son of God?’
He replied, ‘You say that I am.’ Luke 22:67-70
The first meaning is, then, that Jesus is in a relationship with God that no one else has. He’s God’s Son.
What does He do there?
Here’s part of Paul of Tarsus’ answer:
Christ Jesus who died- more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us (Romans 8:34).
If you’re a Jesus follower, Jesus prays for you. If you have Jesus, God’s Son, seated at Almighty God’s right hand, praying for you, what else do you need?
You don’t need magic.
You don’t need any other power, any other force on earth or in the universe.
You’re in the best possible hands. (Which doesn’t mean there’s no need for Jesus followers to pray for each other. God likes to work in partnership with us, responding to our prayer.)
While the picture is usually of Jesus sitting at God’s right hand, William Barclay observes that there’s one story where Jesus was seen standing there. The scenario is that Stephen, a deacon, was on trial for talking about Jesus. At the end of the trial, as he was about to be executed
Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’
At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him Acts 7:55-58).
Barclay writes, “Certain commentators have…thought that the picture may be of the Christ at God’s right hand rising to come to the help and assisstance and comfort of his own, when they are suffering for his name’s sake” (The Apostles’ Creed Westminster John Knox 1998, 146).
The point here is that Jesus, Creator of the universe, stands ready to help us when we suffer injustice. Down here it may look like we’re alone when we suffer, but from a cosmic perspective, that is not true for Jesus followers. Jesus is standing, ready to empower us for the suffering ahead.
Another picture tells us that because Jesus is at God’s right hand, we have hope. Whatever the trouble you face, as a Jesus follower you have a bright future.
I pray that your hearts will be flooded wth light so that you can undersand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people.
I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in this world or in the world to come. And God has put all things under the authority of Christ…. (Ephesians 1:18-22, New Living Translation 1996).
Jesus at God’s right hand is the ruler of the entire universe. He uses that power to accomplish His purposes in the lives of those who follow Him. It’s a safe and friendly universe, no matter how unsafe and unfriendly things feel as you look around.