He is Seated at the Right Hand of the Father
by Rich Maffeo
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father
Therefore…. Let us lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12: 1-2 NASB).
I don't remember his name. Mike, I think. But I remember the last time I saw him. It was nearly 40 years ago. I was standing on a street corner when his mom stopped at a red light. Mike sat in the passenger seat. He and I graduated high school the year before. I'd not seen him since.
"Hey Mike!" I smiled and walked toward the car while the light was still red. "How're you doing? Haven't seen you in…".
The rest of the words stuck in my throat as I glanced at his legs. The right was missing. Amputated just above the knee.
"WH-what happened?" I stuttered.
The light turned green and I muttered something like, "Oh wow," as they pulled away.
It's not hard for me to imagine the sorrow Mike's parents have endured these many years for their son. I now have three grown children and I know how I'd feel if any were so horribly wounded. When Mike and his parents sat at the dinner table, or watched television, or went for a drive, they had only to glance in his direction and see his missing leg. For the rest of their lives, their son's wound will remind them of war's horror.
Scripture speaks with somber regularity of our involvement in a lethal spiritual war (for example, 2 Corinthians 10, Ephesians 6, the Book of Revelation). We know the Lord Jesus was a casualty of that war; He was wounded, suffered and died. But when He rose from the dead, the Glorious One ascended to His rightful place on His kingly throne. The Righteous One's death reconciled us to the Father. The Wounded One purchased our lives with His holy blood.
Although the grief of parents for their children cannot compare with the sorrow of the Divine Father for His Son, as a father myself, I can begin to imagine the eternal Father's sadness each time He sees His Son's wounds. The lacerations from thorns pressed into His forehead, the slices of the whip across his back, the punctures of nails and lance - they remain ever-present marks of the spiritual war in which Jesus gave His life so we would not face eternal death.
I don't know if Mike's parents take comfort knowing their son suffered so others might be free. But Scripture tells us the heavenly Father is pleased to know His Son's suffering brought us freedom from Satan's grasp (Isaiah 53).
America awards the Purple Heart to its military wounded in battle. But what shall Jesus receive for His wounds? What mark of thanks could properly honor His sacrifice? What jewels could adequately acclaim His worthiness?
The only award worthy of His sacrifice is that we give Him our heart, soul, mind and strength. Each time we recite the words of the Creed, "Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father," we have the privilege to do just a that.
Prayer (from St. Ignatius of Loyola): Lord, teach us to fight and not heed our wounds, to toil and not seek rest, to labor and not ask for reward except that of knowing that we do Your will. Amen.
Next time: He will come again
These meditations are compiled in Richard Maffeo's book, "We Believe: Forty Meditations on the Nicene Creed." The book is available through bookstores and his website
E-mail this article to a friend