We’re blogging our way through the “Apostles Creed”, one of the earliest statements of core doctrines developed by the early Church.
Christianity’s greatness is anchored in the past tense. It’s rooted in what God did for us in Christ. We say, “I believe” not because we feel warm fuzzies, or because it’s the way our family has always believed, but because it’s true, unveiled in actual historical events.
However what happened in the past must be lived out in the present, and so the Apostles Creed now switches tenses. Having told us what Christ has done, it now tells us what Christ is doing. Right now as we speak, Jesus is seated at the right hand of God.
But what is this description saying? For most modern readers, it flies right over our heads, because this is the language of kings and emperors, not democracies. For the Bible writers and first readers though, this language conveyed something powerful and comforting. Which is why it was used so frequently (e.g. Acts 2:33, 7:55; Eph.1:20; Col.3:1; Heb.8:1, 10:12, 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22).
When a commander or conquerer or great general took their seat at the right hand of the Sovereign King, they were sending a powerful message to the people. The battle is won. Victory is assured. All is well.
Perhaps there was still fighting to be done. But none of the king’s warriors needed to worry any longer of the outcome. The Captain of their Salvation had conquered.
Psalm 110 prophesied this of the Messiah. David wrote, “The Lord [God the Father] says to my Lord [God the Son], ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’ The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter: Rule in the midst of your enemies.”
These are now our marching orders as his followers. To rule in the midst of those who do not yet bow the knee to Christ. To serve our Lord aflame with the confidence that we do not fight alone – for he is with us by his Spirit and intercedes for us from the right hand of the Father (Heb.7:25, 8:1). And aflame with the confidence that we do not fight in vain. “With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes,” (Ps.108:13).
What’s the proof of this? Jesus is seated at the right hand of God.