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If Jesus and God are one, why does Paul say that Jesus is at the right hand of God?

Answer

Thank you for your biblical question about Jesus being seated at the right hand of God.

Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, did speak about Jesus being seated at the right hand of God. Some of these verses are below:

Who is to condemn Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us (Romans 8:34)

[The Father] worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him this right hand in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:20)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1)

While it is good to know that these verses exist, it is more important for us to understand what they mean.

To begin, we must remember that God is Trinity: one God in three persons, Father, Son and Spirit. This is important for us to remember as when using the visual language of Jesus seated next to God, it gives the sense of separation, that they are two beings. In reality though, they, with the Holy Spirit, are united together.  

The eternal Son of God came to earth (John 1:14), being incarnated in a human body and being known as the person of Jesus. When Jesus rose from the dead (Luke 24:5-7), His resurrection body, free from decay and age, went to heaven (Acts 1:9-11). Jesus, the Son of God, is God and continues to be united with the Father even though He has a body. This is part of the spiritual reality and mystery of God (Ephesians 5:31-32). 

Throughout history, the right hand has been a symbol of authority and power. This is not to say that the left hand is evil, but it is a literary device to describe an individual who has strength and might.

For example, we see throughout the Psalms about the right hand:

The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand (Psalm 121:5).

"The right hand of the LORD exalts, the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!" (Psalm 118:16)

That your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer us! (Psalm 60:5).

From these passages we can see the demonstration of power, strength and authority. Similarly, to be on a person's right is to be in a place of authority. Therefore, when we see that Jesus is at the right hand of God, as we read in Romans 8:34, this is to say that Jesus is in a place of authority with the Father.

However, there is something else here is well, which relates to Jesus being our High Priest. The author of Hebrews tells us this wonderful truth: And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God (Hebrews 10:12).

A priest would stand from the first sacrifice of the day to the last sacrifice of the day, because the work of the sacrifices was not finished. An earthly priest, who themselves is a sinner, could never complete the sacrificial work for everyone including themselves.

However, when Jesus, who never sinned, offered Himself as the once for all sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10), He is able to sit at the right hand of God, because the work is complete.

This is to say that the payment for sins, including our sins, is finished and completed by the work of Jesus on the cross. 

Do you know this for yourself? Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, having placed your trust in His sacrifice for you on the cross? Do you believe that He is now seated, a sign of His finished work, at the right hand of the Father, the place of authority? 

I encourage you today to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. 

In summary, there a numerous Bible verses from Paul that refer to Jesus being at the right hand of God. Through this, Paul is referring to Jesus' power and authority. Further to this, Jesus is seated, which is a sign of His completing work on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. It is my hope that you will accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. 

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • Acts 7:56
  • Hebrews 8:1
  • 1 Peter 3:22
  • Acts 2:33

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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