Seek the Things That Are Above (Part 3)
Paul says in Colossians 3 that we are to set our minds on and seek “the things that are above”—and this “above” place, Paul adds, is incidentally “where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1). So one way that we obey Paul’s command to seek and set our minds on things that are above is to think about the One who is seated at the right hand of the Father.
But what does it mean that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father?
1. It means that he is King.
In Ephesians 1, Paul tells us that the Father has raised Jesus from the dead and “seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” (1:20-21). Every other person who has power or who claims authority in this world will one day bow before Jesus the King and acknowledge that whatever power they ever possessed was derived from and subsumed under the King of all creation, Jesus Christ the Son of God. Paul goes on to say that the Father “put all things under [Jesus’] feet” (1:22), which means that Christ is the King of all the other kings on earth. The place at the Father’s right hand—the space which Jesus presently occupies—is reserved for the Sovereign Lord who reigns over all of creation.
2. It means that he has accomplished our salvation.
The writer of Hebrews says that “when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God” (10:12). So Paul’s reminder in Colossians 3 that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God” is in fact a reminder that Jesus absorbed the grief and guilt of his people on the cross and said, “It is finished.” Jesus is sitting down because our salvation is accomplished.
3. It means that he is interceding for us.
In a separate letter to the church in Rome, Paul tells us that “Christ Jesus is the one . . . who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (Rom. 8:34). So when we “set our minds” on Jesus sitting at the right hand of God, we need to remember that as he sits there, he is speaking to the Father on our behalf. He is saying, “Forgive them, Father, because I have already paid for their sins. Give them every good thing that you are going to give me, because I bought them and bound them to myself with my blood. Give them a Kingdom, Father, and give them a place at your table. Love them with the same love you have for me.”
Let us set our minds on the things that are above—and the One who is above—because, as Paul reminds us in Colossians 3, “your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). Let us seek him and remember all that he has done for us!