Jesus: The Right Hand of God
November 30, 2023 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.
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The Bible is God’s revelation to sinful human beings. It contains truths, which the Holy Spirit inspired men to write down, that we couldn’t have discerned from God’s revelations in nature alone (Romans 1:20), including information about God creating the earth and this solar system in six days and resting on the seventh; the fall of mankind; the war that began in heaven; the promise of Jesus as our Messiah; and much more.

And while the Bible is a book of history, a record of what has actually transpired in human history, it is also filled with God-inspired metaphors, object lessons, symbols, and parables. In this blog, we will explore a deeper meaning to the expression the Right Hand of God, or God’s Right Hand. While the right hand can refer simply to the appendage at the end of the right arm or be symbolic of power (and sometimes in Scripture, it means only this), at other times, the Right Hand of God refers to the action agent of the Godhead, the individual who carries out in history the purposes and activities of God—just as the right hand carries out the purposes of an individual—and that person is Jesus Christ.

The Bible always describes Jesus as standing or sitting at the right hand of the Father:

Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself (Psalm 80:17 NIV84, emphasis mine).

The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies (Psalm 110:1, 2 NIV84, emphasis mine).

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19 NIV84, emphasis mine).

But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God” (Luke 22:69 NIV84, emphasis mine).

The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel (Acts 5:30, 31 NIV84, emphasis mine).

But 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” (Acts 7:55, 56 NIV84, emphasis mine).

That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way (Ephesians 1:19–23 NIV84, emphasis mine).

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1 NIV84, emphasis mine).

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (Hebrews 1:3 NIV84, emphasis mine).

The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man (Hebrews 8:1, 2 NIV84, emphasis mine).

It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him (1 Peter 3:21, 22 NIV84, emphasis mine).

The Right Hand of God is exalted in Scripture. The Bible attributes to God’s Right Hand the power to be victorious while teaching that it is the action agent of God, the source of great deeds, the one filled with righteousness, and the means of our salvation. As you read the texts below, consider the one through whom God accomplished these things. Isn’t Jesus exalted by the Father? (Philippians 2:9; Hebrews 7:26). Isn’t Jesus the one through whom God’s mighty deeds were accomplished, for without Him nothing was made that has been made? (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2). Isn’t Jesus the one who works out God’s salvation? Meditate on how these passages are all descriptions of Jesus and His work for God’s kingdom and our salvation.

It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them (Psalm 44:3 NIV84, emphasis mine).

In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness; let your right hand display awesome deeds (Psalm 45:4 NIV84, emphasis mine).

Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness (Psalm 48:10 NIV84, emphasis mine).

Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered (Psalm 60:5 NIV84, emphasis mine).

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me (Psalm 63:8 NIV84, emphasis mine).

You have a mighty arm; strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand. (Psalm 89:13 NKJV, emphasis mine).

Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him (Psalm 98:1 NIV84, emphasis mine).

Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered (Psalm 108:6 NIV84, emphasis mine).

Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things! The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” (Psalm 118:15, 16 NIV84, emphasis mine).

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me (Psalm 138:7 NIV84, emphasis mine).

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast (Psalm 139:8–10 NIV84, emphasis mine).

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10 NIV84, emphasis mine).

My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together (Isaiah 48:13 NIV84, emphasis mine).

Yes, Jesus is the Right Hand of God. God’s action arm, the agent of the Godhead who leaves infinity and enters physical creation to act, interact, work, and fulfill and achieve the purposes of God. And in heaven right now, Jesus is actively working to complete the mission of the Father by directing all the agencies of the Godhead for our salvation, and the Holy Spirit listens to the Son to carry out the Son’s work in saving sinners here today. The apostle Paul puts it this way:

If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? 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. [Note the word “also,” which means in addition to the Father. The Father is interceding for us and so is Jesus, who is the Right Hand of God working out what the Father desires to be accomplished—our salvation!] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31–39 NIV84, emphasis mine).

So, no matter what temptation comes your way, what trial assails you, or what trouble assaults you, remember that Jesus, God’s Right Hand, the one in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily, is active and interceding against all the evil powers of the enemy for your deliverance, protection, and eternal salvation. Yes, we have a Savior who is the Right Hand of God!

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.