Hebrews 1:13-14 — THE SON – ON THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD
"13 But of which of the angels hath he said at any time, ‘Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thy enemies the footstool of thy feet (see Psalm 110).’ 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation?” (Hebrew 1:13-14)
Sit thou on My right hand, till I make Thy enemies the footstool of Thy feet. These words we have from Psalm 110. Luther called it the chief of all the Psalms. The first verse, and the fourth about Melchizedek, contain the hidden mysteries, which we never should have understood without the exegesis of the Holy Spirit. It is from this Psalm that the expression, which is become one of the great articles of our faith, Sitting on the right hand of God, has been taken into the New Testament . Our Lord quoted the words when he taught (Matthew 22:41) how David, when he said, "Jehovah said unto my Lord” had acknowledged that the Messiah who was to be His Son, would also be his Lord. Before Caiaphas (Matthew 26:64) Christ spoke of Himself as "the Son of Man, sitting at the right hand of power." Mark (16:19) in the narrative of the ascension, uses the words, " The Lord Jesus was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God." At Pentecost (Acts 2:35) Peter proved from this text that David had prophesied of the Messiah. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:25) applies the words to the final conquest of all the enemies of the Lord Jesus. And to the Ephesians Paul speaks of the " working of the strength of God's might, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and made Him to sit at His right hand in the heavenlies (Ephesians 1:20-22)." Our Epistle uses the expression five times. The words of David spoken through the Holy Spirit of what he could but very little have apprehended, became, through Jesus and the apostles, the revelation of what is the highest glory of Christ, and the greatest strength of our faith and hope.
The word suggests two thoughts. The one, that as Son of Man He is admitted to the perfect fellowship and equality with God; the other, that He is now possessor of divine, of universal authority and power. We are so familiar with the truth, that its infinite magnificence hardly strikes us. God is a God who is, and must be, infinitely jealous of His honour: His glory He will not give to another. When Jesus, the crucified Son of Man, takes His place at the right hand of the Majesty on high, it can only be because He is also the Son of God, because He is God. And it assures us that now the power and dominion of God Himself are in His hands, to carry out the work of redemption to its full consummation, until all His enemies have been put under His feet, and He shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father.
When the writer quotes the words, it is with the question: Of which of the angels hath He said at any time? And He gives the answer: Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to do service for them who shall be heirs to salvation?
He would impress deep upon us the thought that angels, though they come from God's throne, and are the instruments of His power, are still infinitely distinct from the Son. The redemption from sin, the true fellowship with God, the life and the love of God they cannot communicate. It is the Son, sitting at the right hand of God, acting in the power of God, to whom we must look for the everlasting redemption, for the true inward deliverance from sin, for a complete salvation. The angels, by contrast, all point us to the Son, seated as Man on the throne, in proof of, and to impart, that perfect restoration to the fellowship of the Most High in the Most Holy Place.
This is the Son in whom God speaks to us. The word, Sit thou on My right hand, is spoken in our hearing and four our benefit. In that word we have concentrated all God's speaking. See, He says, how l have exalted Him, your Brother, your Surety, your Head, to my right hand, in token of My perfect acceptance of His work; your perfect admittance to My presence and the enjoyment of all the power of the heavenly life; your full participation, in your inmost being, of what the kingdom of heaven is. Sit thou on My right hand: let the word enter and master all our heart and life. I have said that it occurs five times in the Epistle. Compare these passages, and the others having reference to Christ's place in heaven (see the Chapter Notes below), and observe how the great truth we are to learn is this: the knowledge of Jesus as having entered heaven for us, and taken us in union with Himself into a heavenly life, is what will deliver the Christian from all that is low and feeble, and lift him to a life of joy and strength. To gaze upon the heavenly Christ in the Father's presence, to whom all things are subject, will transform us into heavenly Christians, dwelling all the day in God's presence, and overcoming every enemy. Yes, my Redeemer, seated at God's right hand—if l only know Him aright and trust Him as able to save completely—He will make me more than conqueror.
If we would obtain this blessed knowledge of our Lord, and the blessed life in the experience of His power, Scripture has a prayer for us that we will do well to pray often:
"That that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come" (Ephesians 1:17-21)
Let us pray for this spirit of divine illumination; let us study and adore the strength of God's might that lifted Him to the throne; and let us believe joyfully, that that power works in us every day to lift us up and enable us to live as those who are set with Him in the heavenlies. And let us sing without ceasing: Praised be God for such a Saviour!
1. "Now in the things we are saying the chief point is this: We have such an High Priest who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens " (Hebrews 8:1). Yes, this is the chief point: Jesus in heaven, keeping it open for me, drawing me to enter into the Holiest, and keeping me in it, all while He sends down heaven into my heart.
2. "He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things." (Ephesians 4:10) On earth everything is limited by space and matter, in heaven all is in a divine, all-pervading power. As the light of the sun pervades all the air, the light and spirit of heaven can fill all our heart. The heavenly Christ fills all things.
3. See how they worship Him who sits on the throne in heaven (see Revelation 5:8-14; 7:9-12) and let every thought of Jesus on the throne lead to worship. It was when the disciples worshipped Him who had just sat down on the right hand of God that they were, within ten days, filled with the Holy Spirit. The Pentecostal gift is ours. Here is the place and the posture in which we shall enter into its full experience.