After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. HEBREWS 1:3
Christ’s present role in glory is commonly referred to as his “heavenly session.” Session (Latin: sessio) means “sitting.” The New Testament can picture Jesus’ heavenly activity as standing ready to act (Acts 7:56; Rev. 1:1-16; 14:1), walking among his people (Rev. 2:1), and riding to battle (Rev. 19:11-16), but it regularly expresses his present authority by saying that he sits at the Father’s right hand—not to rest, but to rule. The picture is not of inactivity but of authority.
In Psalm 110 God sets the Messiah at his right hand as king and priest—as king to see all his enemies under his feet (v. 1), and as priest to serve God and channel God’s grace forever (v. 4). Though personally the Messiah may be out fighting (vv. 2-3, 5-7), positionally he is always sitting at Yahweh’s right hand. In Acts 2:34-35, Hebrews 1:13 and 10:12, and Matthew 22:44, this picture is applied directly to Jesus Christ, who since the Ascension actively reigns in the mediatorial kingdom of God.
Christ rules over all the spheres of authority that exist, both angelic and human (Matt. 28:18; 1 Pet. 3:22). His kingdom in a direct sense is the church, which he heads as his body and governs by his Word and Spirit (Eph. 1:22-23). The state is not the form of the kingdom of God as it was in the Old Testament: the sword is not to be used to enforce Christ’s kingdom (John 18:36), but Christ from his throne uses secular authority to maintain civil peace and order, and he commands his disciples to submit to its rules (Matt. 22:21; Rom. 13:1-7). Christians take great comfort in knowing that Christ is Lord of all; they seek in every sphere of life to do his will and to remind themselves and others that all are accountable to Christ as Judge, whether they be governors or governed, husbands or wives, parents or children, employers or employees. All rational beings will finally give account of themselves to Christ as Judge (Matt. 25:31; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:16; 2 Cor. 5:10).
Christ’s session will continue until all his and our enemies, including death, are brought to nothing. Death, the last enemy, will cease to be when Christ at his appearing raises the dead for judgment (John 5:28-29). Once judgment has been executed, the work of the mediatorial kingdom will be over, and Christ will triumphantly deliver the kingdom to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-28).
Title: Concise Theology: A Guide To Historic Christian Beliefs
Section: God Revealed as Redeemer
Author: Packer, J.I. (James Innell)
Index: Concise Theology index – CLICK HERE