We’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. In particular we’ve been looking at how Christ was exalted. We’ve seen that he was exalted by his resurrection and  ascension into heaven. Last week we also saw that Christ was exalted by his sitting in God’s presence. This week I want to show that Jesus is exalted by sitting at the right hand of God.

If you are allowed into the presence of someone important, you are exalted. But your exaltation also depends on what you are allowed to do in their presence. If you are invited to take a seat, it signifies further favour. If you are allowed to sit near them it means you have been shown even more favour. So what is Jesus allowed to do in God’s presence? Jesus is allowed to sit at God’s right hand. But what does that mean? It shows that Christ is in the greatest of all positions of favour.

Throughout the Bible, the right hand of someone is often seen as their instrument for conveying favour. For example, when Joseph’s sons are blessed by Israel (their grandfather), we read: ‘Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them. Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.” Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward  Israel’s  right  hand, and brought them close to him. But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn. Then he blessed Joseph and said, “May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm–may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly upon the earth.” When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.” But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations”‘ (Genesis 48:10-19).

This text illustrates the significance of Christ’s exaltation to the right hand of God – the Bible could not describe Jesus in any greater place. Jesus has been given the highest of all favour by God the Father.

So what are you going to do about the news that the Christ has been exalted to the right hand of God? If God has shown him all favour then, you should too. And such favour begins by repenting of your sins and trusting that he died for you. So will you?

Joel Radford.