Seated at God’s Right Hand

seated right hand (2)

l) 1 Pet 3:22: Referring to Jesus, Peter wrote, “who is at the right hand of God after having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been made subject to him.”

By his resurrection, ascension, and exaltation, Jesus declared victory over his enemies. Peter asserted this by repeating the verb he employed in 1 Pet 3:19 to depict that Christ went (poreuō) and preached to the disobedient spirits from Noah’s era who remained in prison (Gen 6:1–4).[1]

Placement at the right hand (dexios) of God symbolizes wielding divine power (Ps 110:1; Isa 45:1).[2]

This claim about Christ by Jesus, the apostles, and Stephen enraged the Jewish leaders, who considered it blasphemy (Matt 26:59–66; Acts 5:27–33; Acts 7:48–60).[3]

Due to the resurrection, Christ rules with royal status and might (Heb 1:1–4; Heb 8:1).[4]

Acts 1:1–2, 9–11 describes the beginning of Jesus’s journey to heaven. The parallelism which Peter used indicates that the ascension and proclamation to disobedient spirits form one authoritative act.[5]

According to the author of Hebrews, Christ passed through the heavens, entered the heavenly Most Holy Place (Heb 9:1–5, 8), and is now exalted above the heavens (Heb 4:14; Heb 6:19–20; Heb 7:26).[6]

The three terms “angels” (angelos), “authorities” (exousia), and “powers” (dynamis) all refer to angelic beings.[7]

Throughout the New Testament (NT), supernatural “authorities” and “powers” tend to be grouped together,[8] often with the word “rulers” (1 Cor 15:24; Col 2:10; Rom 8:38–39). Peter avoided any of these terms when discussing human government in 1 Pet 2:13–14,[9] although “authorities” can refer to earthly leaders.[10]

The apostles named Satan and his forces as the ones who incited evil and the persecution of God’s people (John 16:7–11; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 6:12). Spiritual forces controlling world affairs frequently appeared in Jewish literature (Dan 8:23–25). Several apocryphal books make this explicit.[11]

For example, the oldest part of the Ascension of Isaiah (2nd century BC–4th century AD) mentions, “the eternal judgments and torments of Gehenna, and of the prince of this world, and of his angels, and his authorities and his powers.”[12]

Peter ended this passage by emphasizing the sweeping scope of Jesus’s triumph. Due to his resurrection and ascension, Christ subjected even fallen angels to himself.[13] His rule is universal, but it has not yet come in all its fullness (Phil 2:5–11; Heb 2:5–9, 14–16).[14]

This concept of the “now and not yet” occurs throughout the NT (Mark 9:1; Mark 14:25; Rom 8:1–2; Col 3:1–4). Until the return of Christ, the kingdom of God exists among us but remains incomplete.[15]

Although Christians suffer in this world, we share in Jesus’s vindication (Rev 6:9–11).[16]

While we await his return, we should neither fear nor experience surprise when we encounter trials and persecution (1 Pet 2:15; 1 Pet 3:14; 1 Pet 4:12–19; 1 Pet 5:8–10).[17]

Even death cannot triumph over people united with Christ (1 Cor 15:50–58; 2 Tim 2:11–13).[18]

Just as Noah and his family members escaped, we too shall be saved through water (Gen 8:1–3, 13–18; 1 Pet 3:18–21).[19]

Image via Wikimedia Commons

 

Read 1 Pet 3:22. Why is Christ’s placement at the right hand of the Father significant? What are the results of Jesus’s resurrection and ascension? How would you describe the era in which we live? What comfort can we take as we endure suffering? How did Peter compare us to Noah?

 

 

 

 

 

Go to Introduction to Chapter 9

 

[Related posts include Overview of 1 Peter 3:18–22Death in the Flesh but Life in the Spirit (1 Pet 3:18); Interpretive Issues in 1 Pet 3:19–20; Early Church Fathers’ View of 1 Pet 3:19–20; Augustine’s View of 1 Pet 3:19–20; The Apostles’ Creed and 1 Pet 3:19–20; John Calvin’s View of 1 Pet 3:19–20; Ancient Jewish View Applied to 1 Pet 3:19–20; Modern Scholars’ View of 1 Pet 3:19–20; Summary of 1 Pet 3:19–20; Salvation through Water (1 Pet 3:20); and An Appeal to God (1 Pet 3:21)]

[Related posts include Sons of God or Sons of the Gods? (Gen 6:1–2); Fallen Angels as the Sons of God (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Kings as Sons of the Gods (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Taking Wives for Themselves (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Nephilim in the Land (Gen 6:4); God Remembered Noah (Gen 8:1); God Reverses the Flood (Gen 8:2–5); Renewal of the Earth (Gen 8:6–14); Bring Them Out (Gen 8:15–19); Dead in Adam but Alive in Christ (1 Cor 15:20–23); Perishable Flesh and Blood (1 Cor 15:50); We Shall Be Changed (1 Cor 15:51–52); Victory over Death (1 Cor 15:53–55); Equality with God (Phil 2:5–6); A Summary of Trinitarian Creeds (Appendix to Phil 2:5–6); Taking the Form of a Slave (Phil 2:7); Obedient to the Point of Death (Phil 2:8); The Name Above Every Name (Phil 2:9–11); Pleading for Justice (Rev 6:9‒10); The Full Number of Martyrs (Rev 6:11); Exegesis and Hermeneutics; and Ancient Literature]

[Click here to go to Chapter 8: Safely Through (Gen 8:1–19)]

 

[1]Schreiner, 1, 2 Peter, Jude, 197.

[2]Arndt, Danker, and Bauer, “δεξιος” (dexios), BDAG, 217–8, 218.

[3]Walter Grundmann, “δεξιος” (dexios) TDNT 2:37–40, 39.

[4]Michaels, 1 Peter, 218–9.

[5]Jobes, 1 Peter, 257.

[6]Michaels, 1 Peter, 219.

[7]Schreiner, 1, 2 Peter, Jude, 197.

[8]Werner Foerster, “ἐξουσια” (exousia), TDNT 2:560–75, 571.

[9]Michaels, 1 Peter, 220.

[10]Arndt, Danker, and Bauer, “ἐξουσια” (exousia), BDAG, 352–3.

[11]Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, 146–7.

[12]Charles, “The Ascension of Isaiah,” 1.3, 2–3, https://archive.org/stream/cu31924014590529#page/n81/mode/2up.

[13]Jobes, 1 Peter, 258.

[14]Michaels, 1 Peter, 220.

[15]Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, 147.

[16]Schreiner, 1, 2 Peter, Jude, 198.

[17]Michaels, 1 Peter, 221.

[18]Schreiner, 1, 2 Peter, Jude, 198.

[19]Marshall, 1 Peter, 1 Pet 3:21.