Psalm 110:1 enjoys more references in the NT than any other verse from the OT. It is quoted 5 times and given allusion 15 times. From my own study, I’ve grouped these quotations and allusions into the headings below, and every reference cited is to one of those quotations or allusions. ((All quotations are from the ESV.))
“Jesus…endured the cross, despising the shame” because He was motivated by “the joy that was set before Him,” that is, being “seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2). Jesus persevered and has been rewarded with the right-hand seat that was promised to Him. We are likewise exhorted to do the same. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Col 3:1). Stephen faithfully persevered unto death, seeing “Jesus standing at the right hand of God” as if to applaud and welcome him home (Acts 7:55–56).
Paul prayed for his readers to know of “the immeasurable greatness of his power… that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph 1:19–20). The power of God was shown in both the resurrection of Jesus and His placement at His right hand.
Jesus’ right-hand seat indicated that He had a position over all things. There He sits as the Messiah and David’s greater Lord (Matt 22:44 / Mark 12:36 / Luke 20:42–43). It is a seat that is not even given to angels (Heb 1:13) because there He sits “with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him” (1 Pet 3:22). In fact, His position is one in which the Father “put all things under his feet” (Eph 1:22), which indicates of the Father that “he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him” (1 Cor 15:27).
“We have such a high priest,” Jesus, “one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven” (Heb 8:1), which indicates the completion and present carrying out of certain priestly functions. He sat there “after making purification for sins” and having “offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins” (Heb 10:12). Shortly after taking this seat, He “poured out” the Spirit on Pentecost (Acts 2:33), sits as “Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins” and anyone else who repents (Acts 5:31), and “indeed is interceding for us” (Rom 8:34).
As seen above, Jesus is over all things at the Father’s right hand. From there, however, He has been “waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet” (Heb 10:13), including those who disbelieved Him (Matt 26:64 / Mark 14:62 / Luke 22:69) and even death itself (1 Cor 15:26–27).
Pastor David Huffstutler
Pastor Huffstutler regularly writes articles for our Sunday bulletin. See his bio on our pastoral bio page.