Q & R with Greg Albrecht: “How can God sit on his own right hand?”
How can Jesus, the Son of God, sit on the right side of the Father and still be God (Romans 8:34; Colossians 3:1)? How can God sit on the right side of himself?
The Bible speaks of God in human language, using human reality and mortality to describe heavenly eternity. When the Bible says that God is “in” heaven, it does not mean that God is confined to any place, nor does it mean that heaven is a “place.” Heaven is a state of existence that is outside time and space, but in order to think about it and talk about it, humans have to speak of being “there.” The Bible tells us that God is omni-present—everywhere at once. He does not need to travel to be somewhere where he is now not present, nor does he vacate a “place” to be somewhere else.
When the Bible speaks of God having arms, hands and features of human anatomy, it is using anthropomorphic language (using human language to attribute human characteristics to a non-human). God is using terminology we understand in order to reveal himself to us. In doing so he has to condescend to our level, for we are unable to rise to his level of understanding. It is somewhat like an adult parent talking to a child using silly, childish language, using the sounds of an animal (“moo” for a cow) or a vehicle (“choo-choo” for a train) to describe reality beyond a child’s comprehension.
Thus, it is illogical to think that God cannot be one, yet three co-equal and co-essential divine Persons because we conclude that he cannot sit on the right side of himself. The term “sitting” and sitting in any “place” as geographically or directionally defined (by human limitations of time and space) are not literal descriptions when used to speak of God. Physical boundaries, such as right or left, north or south, are terms which are not precise or accurate to use of the one, true God. They are used by him, to help us, his children, whom he loves with a perfect love, to understand him. We cannot fully comprehend his totality, because we are not created by him with the capacity to do so. In his mercy God has, in the Person of Jesus, become one of us so that we might become one with him.
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