Jesus is Better (3)1
In the previous two articles we looked at six of the seven reasons why Jesus is better as found in the portrayal of him in Hebrews 1:1-4. Here in this final article we’ll conclude our study by looking closely at the seventh. Continue reading . . .
In the previous two articles we looked at six of the seven reasons why Jesus is better as found in the portrayal of him in Hebrews 1:1-4. Here in this final article we’ll conclude our study by looking closely at the seventh. Here again is the passage:
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” (Heb. 1:1-4).
(7) Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Majesty of high (v. 3e)
If you could somehow be taken back in time to the period of the Old Covenant and granted a guided tour through the Tabernacle (which, by the way, would never have happened!), you would undoubtedly have taken your I-Phone, in order to take pictures. The first thing you would have noticed is the altar of burnt offering. After taking a picture of it, you would have moved on to the laver and the golden candlestick, again taking a photo of each as you made your way closer and closer to the Holy of Holies. Another snapshot of the table of showbread and the altar of incense and finally of the Ark of the Covenant itself.
By now you might be quite tired and in need of a break. So you look around for a chair. But there is none. Much to your dismay, you discover that nowhere in the Tabernacle is there any place where one might sit down. And then you suddenly remember Hebrews 10:11-14 –
“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, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Heb. 10:11-14).
The same truth is stated here in Hebrews 1:3, that after Jesus made purification for sins, “he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
What significance is there in this seemingly simple declaration? Let me briefly mention three things.
First, to be seated in this way is to be enthroned. It is a declaration that Jesus Christ is King over all things and all people. He reigns in power and royal supremacy over all nations, armies, demons, presidents, the weather, your life and my life. If this world seems to you to be out of control, I would only remind you that he who “upholds the universe by the word of his power” also has now been “seated” at the right hand of God and he rules unchallenged.
Second, as we know from numerous texts in the Old Testament, to be seated at someone’s “right hand” is to be in a position of special honor and privilege (1 Kings 2:19). The Lord’s right hand points to favor (Ps. 80:18; Jer. 22:24), victory (Ps. 20:6; 44:3; Isa. 41:10), and power (Exod. 15:6; Ps. 89:13; Isa. 48:13).
Third, and most important of all, after making purification, Jesus sat down at the right hand of God as a sign of the sufficiency and finality of his atoning sacrifice. Those priests of the Old Covenant remained standing because their work was never finished. Their sacrifices could never fully and finally take away sin. Jesus, on the other hand, has offered a single sacrifice in the giving of himself on the cross and by doing so has fully and finally and forever made purification for your sins. So, appropriately, he sat down!
Here is what this means for you today who have put your trust in Jesus Christ.
- It means that you need never again live in fear that your sins will bring you into eternal judgment.
- It means that you need never again live in fear of death, because leaving this life leads you into eternal fellowship and intimacy with God in the next.
- It means that you need never worry that anything or anyone can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
- It means that you need never again be crippled by guilt and shame for all the ways in which you have failed others and sinned against God.
- It means that you need never again strive and strain and work and labor to win God’s favor and approval.
- It means that you need never again live in anxiety and fear about whether you’ve done enough to make atonement for your shortcomings and your sins.
- It means you need never again wonder whether, when you stand in God’s presence on the day of judgment, you will be properly prepared and thus find acceptance with your Creator.
- It means that you need never again to live in conformity with someone’s expectations of you or in accordance with the rules they have set down for you, as if by doing so you might become truly spiritual and thus acceptable not only to them but also to God. Never again!
- It means that you can now and forever breathe a deep sigh of relief and be filled with joy inexpressible and full of glory knowing that a perfect sacrifice for your sins has been offered and that all your guilt, yesterday, today, and forever has been wiped completely clean and that by faith in Jesus alone you stand clothed in his righteousness.
That’s what it means to say that this one who is the heir of all things, through whom all things were created, sat down at the right hand of God. That’s what it means to say that this one who is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact imprint of his nature sat down at the right hand of God. That’s what it means to say that this one who upholds all things by his powerful word, after making purification for your sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high!
And that is why Jesus is better!