Why did Jesus sit down after His death, burial, resurrection and ascension to heaven?
We must first understand that people’s sins were not forgiven under the Old Covenant.
Hebrews 10:1-4 “For the law, having a shadow of the good to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. Or else wouldn’t they have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having been once cleansed, would have had no more consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a yearly reminder of sins. For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.”
Their sins were not forgiven because of the following:
- The High Priests were sinners themselves who died and went to the grave and therefore needed constant replacement with new High Priests.
- They used animal sacrifices could never take away the sins of people. This is because the blood of animals cannot take away the sins of men. A human being who is a blameless perfect substitute must die in our place to forgive sins. There was no such sacrifice in the Old Covenant because the High priests were sinners.
- This is why the work of the High Priests was never-ending and they constantly stood in the Temple offering those endless sacrifices. The animal sacrifices were not the reality but the foreshadow of the final sacrifice of Jesus (Colossians 2:17)
This is why God sent Jesus Christ to make a New Covenant to forgive our sins.
Hebrews 10:5-18 NIV “Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, my God.’” First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.”
Under the New Covenant, believers have eternal forgiveness because of the following:
- Jesus Christ is our High Priest who never sinned.
- He died for our sins and rose from the dead to live forever.
- He was our perfect sinless substitute who died in our place.
- His work was finished and therefore He sat down.
- He is our eternal High Priest who represents us as perfect and forgiven on our behalf in heaven. God made us perfect and righteous in Christ.
- The work is finished because His blood forgave our sins.
- Jesus will not die again because we are eternally forgiven.
- God promised to never remember our sins anymore if we believe in Jesus.
- Christ’s one sacrifice made us holy and perfect once and for all.
The law could make nothing perfect and never take away sins. But Jesus Christ is the Son of God who never sinned and took away our sins by His sacrifice.
After He ascended to heaven, He sat down because He purified us of all sins!
Hebrews 1:3-5 “His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, who, when he had by himself purified us of our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels as the more excellent name he has inherited is better than theirs. For to which of the angels did he say at any time, “You are my Son. Today I have become your father?” and again, “I will be to him a Father, and he will be to me a Son?
Jesus Christ came to make us His own brothers and sisters – to make us the children of God. This is why He came in the flesh and tasted death/judgment for us so that we became the children of God by faith in Christ.
Hebrews 2:9-15,17-18 “But we see him who has been made a little lower than the angels, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God he should taste of death for everyone. For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many children to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, “I will declare your name to my brothers. Among the congregation I will sing your praise.” Again, “I will put my trust in him.” Again, “Behold, here I am with the children whom God has given me.” Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in the same way partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage…. Therefore he was obligated in all things to be made like his brothers, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.”
Jesus suffered and obeyed unto death on the cross because God promised to raise Him from the dead. The resurrection of Christ is the proof that the believer has eternal salvation that can never be lost.
Hebrews 5:7-10 “He, in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and petitions with strong crying and tears to him who was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear, though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered. Having been made perfect, he became to all of those who obey him the author of eternal salvation, named by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.”
The Law could never attain perfection for the people and that is why God changed the priesthood and also the covenant to give us the better hope of salvation in Christ.
Hebrews 7:11,18-19 “Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people have received the law), what further need was there for another priest….For there is an annulling of a foregoing commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect), and a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”
This is why the Law and priesthood had to be replaced by the New Covenant with an Eternal High Priest – Jesus Christ who lives forever to save us eternally!
Hebrews 7:22-28 “By so much, Jesus has become the collateral of a better covenant. Many, indeed, have been made priests, because they are hindered from continuing by death. But he, because he lives forever, has his priesthood unchangeable. Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them. For such a high priest was fitting for us: holy, guiltless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who doesn’t need, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices daily, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. For he did this once for all, when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men as high priests who have weakness, but the word of the oath which came after the law appoints a Son forever who has been perfected.”
If we believe in Christ then we have eternal salvation because He saves us to the uttermost extent as He lives forever.
God found fault with the people in the Old Covenant because they were sinners who couldn’t obey the perfect Law (Hebrews 8:6-8).
Therefore, God made a better New Covenant based on better promises! When Christ came, He changed the Law and made a New Covenant because He never sinned but offered His own body as the final sacrifice that takes away all sins for the believer!
This is why God does not remember the sins of the believer anymore!
Hebrews 8:1,6-7 “Now in the things which we are saying, the main point is this. We have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens…. But now he has obtained a more excellent ministry, by so much as he is also the mediator of a better covenant, which on better promises has been given as law. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.”
Under the Law, the temple and animal sacrifices were only copies of the sanctuary in heaven. This is why they could never take away sin. But Christ’s eternal blood was not sacrificed in the temple of Jerusalem. Jesus entered the true sanctuary/temple in heaven with His blood to offer the final sacrifice and put away our sins forever!
Hebrews 9:24-28 “For Christ hasn’t entered into holy places made with hands, which are representations of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters into the holy place year by year with blood not his own, or else he must have suffered often since the foundation of the world. But now once at the end of the ages, he has been revealed to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this, judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, without sin, to those who are eagerly waiting for him for salvation.”
Forgiveness is based solely on the quality of the High Priest.
- Under the old covenant, the High Priest was a sinner who died and therefore the people who trusted in the law were also sinners who died in condemnation.
- But under the New Covenant, Jesus Christ is our High Priest who never sinned but died for our sins. Jesus is righteous and lives forever and therefore we who believe in Christ are righteous and will live forever in heaven with Him.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the perfect High Priest who has given us perfect forgiveness and salvation!
Jesus sat down because He saved us and made us eternally and irreversibly forgiven and righteous.
Therefore, every believer has been seated in this eternal salvation with Jesus Christ in heaven because we are eternally forgiven and righteous by God’s grace through faith.
Ephesians 2:4-6 “But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,”