“[The Father] raised Christ 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 name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:20-21)
“…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 a mere human being.” (Hebrews 8:1-2)
“Who then is the one who condemns? No one. 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” (Romans 8:34)
I spent last week away on Residential with P6 pupils from a local Primary School where I have been Chaplain for over 30 years. I go on three Residential events every year and love the way it builds relationships with the children. It’s the usual mixture of climbing, abseiling, mountain-biking, canoeing, archery, etc. and I love doing these with the children. My mind tells me I can still do all these things. My body is unconvinced. (Pass me another Ibuprofen, please…)
Our headteacher opts for an Abernethy Trust Centre and includes their evening ‘Explore’ sessions as a part of the programme. It’s a low-key exploration of biblical stories and Christian values, often related to some of the challenges and activities the children engage in. There are always subsequent conversations – while dangling from a cliff or paddling in a canoe or having lunch – when an individual child or a small group come and ask me questions. All the existential questions inevitably come up: “Is there really a God?” “Are heaven and hell real? What are they like?” “Why doesn’t God stop wars?” “Why do bad things happen?” And sometimes there are great theological questions.
This time around I had a fascinating discussion with a group of three boys who, thinking about the Easter story and Jesus’ resurrection, asked: “So where is he now? What is he doing?” Well, I hope I gave a suitably satisfying and child-friendly answer in the moment. But their questions also became my Sunday sermon theme that weekend. And I enjoyed reading my Bible to find a deeper answer.
In short: He’s at the Father’s right hand, a position of prestige and authority and honour. What’s He doing? He is reigning as King of Kings and Lord of Lords having defeated the greatest enemy – death itself. He is serving as the Great High Priest – ministering and mediating between God and Humankind. He is interceding as Redeemer – praying at this very moment for me and for you. Hallelujah! What a Saviour!