Quodlibet

The Seat of Jesus

by Donald T. Williams

"Sedet ad dexteram Patris"; "and sits at the right hand of the Father." —The Nicene Creed

"Sitting" has at least four meanings that are relevant to this affirmation. It is not just a physical act, and it does not mean that Jesus has become a celestial Couch Potato.

Sitting implies rest. And while the Son's work of mediation continues, the Father accepts him as having completed the great work of redemption he was sent into the world to do.

Sitting also implies ownership. The ancestral house of a great family is called the family "seat." Jesus has returned home after his great mission.

Sitting implies stability. Jesus isn't going anywhere—he is seated at the Father's right hand, and that is where we can find him.

Finally and most importantly, sitting implies authority. The judge presides over the courtroom from the "bench." When Congress is at work, it is "in session"; i.e., it is seated. And the leader of a committee is known simply as the chair. So Jesus is now seated on Yahweh's throne as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

And if he is our Lord, then we are home there, too.

But Sam turned to Bywater, and so came back up the Hill, as day was ending once more. And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected. And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap. He drew a deep breath. "Well, I'm back," he said. (J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, final paragraph)

Donald T. Williams Ph.D., is R. A. Forrest Scholar at Toccoa Falls College. He is the author of eleven books, most recently Deeper Magic: The Theology Behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Square Halo Books, 2016) and An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of J. R. R. Tolkien (Christian Publishing House, 2018). He is a member of University Church, an interdenominational house church in Athens, Georgia.

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