WHAT IS YESHUA DOING NOW IN HEAVEN?
The ascension wasn’t simply Yeshua going home; it was Yeshua being enthroned. Scripture repeatedly speaks of the ascension ending with Yeshua “being seated at the right hand of the Father” (Psalm 110:1; Acts 2:33–34; Ephesians 1:20; 1 Peter 3:22). And this is no ordinary seat. As Yeshua told the church of Laodicea, “I . . . conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Revelation 3:21).
How did he conquer? By crucifixion, death and rising. We see this in Revelation 5:5–6, where the Lion who has conquered is seen as a lamb who has been slain but is now standing. This description of the Lamb standing isn’t meant to conflict with the numerous references to Yeshua being seated; rather, it’s meant to show that Yeshua is alive, since slain lambs aren’t usually stand. But it’s the ascension that placed Yeshua where John saw him standing—in the heavenly throne room surrounded by a host of elders, living creatures, and saints, all worshiping him and his Father (Revelation 5:6–14).
This is the message of the most often-quoted Old Testament passage in the New Testament, Psalm 110:1: “The LORD says to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” The ascension is how he got there (Acts 2:33–34). It’s what enthroned him as king, “ruling in the midst of his enemies” (Psalm 110:1).
Yeshua went to heaven to intercede for us as the eternal high priest. He quotes Hebrews 7:25, which reads, “Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.” Further on we read in Hebrews 9:24, “For Messiah did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf.”
2.0 Seated on the right hand of the Father
Mark’s Gospel tells us, “So then the Lord Yeshua, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19). Sitting at the Father’s right hand belongs to Messiah both as God and as man. With regard to divinity, it means that the Father and the Son are equal in Godhead, though the Father is the origin of the relations within the Trinity.
With regard to humanity, being seated at the Father’s right hand means that Yeshua is the judge of all. We read in Hebrews, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Yeshua, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Why is it important that Yeshua is seated at the right hand of God the Father?
Through the ascension, Yeshua returned to heaven to become the believer’s advocate and intercessor at the right hand of God the Father (Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1; Hebrews. 7:25). His mission on earth had been accomplished. He took on a human body and will forever remain both fully God and fully man in his glorified state. The finished work of Messiah’s sacrifice (Hebrews 10:9–18) and his substitutionary atonement is complete.
Yeshua is now and forever exalted above all creation, worthy of our worship and obedience (Philippians 2:9-11). The ascension was Yeshua’s final step in defeating death, making eternal life possible (Hebrews 6:19–20). The angels warned that someday Yeshua will return in his glorified body, the same way he left.
Messiah is not a remote monarch or wily politician. He is not some unreachable leader. He is the caring, passionate King we glimpse when Stephen is stoned in Acts 7. “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Yeshua standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55-56).
Yes, Stephen saw Yeshua standing, not sitting at God’s right hand. That’s because the king of the universe is active and engaged in the lives of those who love him. The Son is standing in heaven as our great advocate to plead our case before the Father. He prays for us as we face troubles in this world (John 17:20; 24; 26). Messiah defends us against Satan’s accusations when we sin. And he reassures us of God’s love when we feel foolish and insecure (Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1). It’s this vision of Yeshua as his heavenly advocate that gave Stephen the serenity to entrust his spirit to the Lord Yeshua and forgive his enemies as he died (Acts 7:59-60).
So being seated at the right hand of God says something of great significance about Yeshua. But what exactly?
The Scripture has several words translated “right” and the usage of the term, “right hand” ranges from a direction, to the opposite of wrong, what is just or what conforms to an established standard, and to a place of honor or authority. In the case of division or appointment in the Bible, the right hand or right side came first, as when Israel (Jacob) divided the blessings to Joseph’s sons before he died (Genesis 48:13-14).
If we understand the Hebrew mindset in which it is written, sitting on the right hand of the Father simply means all authority in heaven and earth was given to Yeshua by YHVH because he carried out the mission of redemption in obedience. Yeshua states this in Matthew 28:18. He has the authority to act on behalf of the Father whereas before he acted on what the Father said and did. It is what he meant when he said pre-resurrection “the Father is greater than I.” We see this authority when he opened the seals of the scroll in the Book of the Revelation.
As far as being one, the thought is one in function. They are one in purpose, mind, honor and Ruach (Spirit). Yeshua prays for the same unity for his apostles in John 17:22–23.
In addition, a person of high rank who put someone on his right hand gave him equal honor with himself and recognized him as possessing equal dignity and authority. And this is what the Apostle Paul writes of Yeshua the Messiah in Ephesians. “And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us, the ones believing according to the working of His mighty strength which He worked in Messiah in raising Him from the dead, and He seated Him at His right hand in the heavenlies, far above all principality and authority and power and dominion, and every name being named, not only in this world, but also in the coming age” (Ephesians 1:19-21; 1 Peter 3:22). Here we see God exalting Yeshua above all others by seating Him at the right hand of the Father.
The term “God’s right hand” in prophecy refers to the Messiah to whom is given the power and authority to subdue His enemies (Psalm 110:1; Psalm 118:16). We find a quote in Matthew 22:44 from Psalm 110:1, which is a Messianic Psalm. “The Son of David” is claimed by the LORD Yeshua the Messiah as He is the “greater son of David” or the Messiah. In this passage of Matthew 22, Yeshua questions the Pharisees about who they think the Messiah is. “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Yeshua asked them, Saying, What think ye of Messiah? Whose son is He? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make Thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son?” (Matthew 22:41-45). The position of the Messiah is at God’s right hand.
Therefore, what we can say is that “God’s right hand” refers to the Messiah, the LORD Yeshua the Messiah, and He is of equal position, honor, power, and authority with God (John 1:1-5). The fact that Messiah is “sitting” refers to the fact that His work of redemption is done and when the fullness of the Gentiles is brought in (Romans 11:25), Messiah’s enemies will be made His footstool. When the end of the age comes, all prophecy will be completed, and time will be no more.
3.0 Preparing a place for each one of us in Father’s House
The ascension of Yeshua the Messiah signified the completion of his time on earth, which is celebrated by the Church forty days after the Resurrection and ten days before the Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit. Our Lord Yeshua the Messiah gave us hope by promising that “when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:1-6).
The Ascension is part of what Messiah did to effect our salvation. In John 16:7 which Yeshua tells the apostles, “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.” Thus, first, He prepared the way for our ascent into heaven. In Ephesians 4, where Apostle Paul recalls a Psalm prophesying the Messiah: “He ascended on high and took prisoners captive; he gave gifts to men” (Ephesians 4:8). Apostle Paul takes Psalm 68 as pointing to Messiah’s deliverance of the just souls in Hades and opening the doors of heaven. Yeshua himself ascending there was fitting for their welcome. In John 14:2 Yeshua says, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be” (John 14:2-3).
Yeshua himself is the way to heaven, and thus it is fitting that he himself abide there to reign. The Apostle Thomas asked Jesus at the Last Supper, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” (John 14:5). Yeshua replied, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father” (John 14:6-7).
4.0 Sending of the Father’s Promise
Yeshua didn’t ascend into heaven for nothing. He may have been seated, but he hasn’t been idle. On the contrary—after crushing the head of Satan’s resistance at the D-Day of Calvary, it was from heaven’s throne that Yeshua launched his last-days offensive.
It began at Pentecost, when he poured out the Holy Spirit and began liberating the nations. According to Yeshua, this was one of the main objectives for the ascension: “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). People from every nation have been purchased; they now have to be gathered—and we can’t do it alone. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. Until he was given, the Great Commission could not advance, but until Yeshua ascended, he could not be given (Luke 24:49; John 7:39). It was only then, “being exalted at the right hand of God,” that Yeshua could pour out the Spirit (Acts 2:33).
As a person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit mediates the power and presence of both Father and Son, such that in a real sense Yeshua is with us even now (Romans 8:9–10; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 4:6). This is how, despite being in heaven, Yeshua can promise to be with us till the end of the age—until the harvest is gathered and the mission is accomplished (Matthew 28:20).
Enthroned at the right hand of the Father, Messiah sends the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit upon the Church. Having quoted the prophesy that “He gave gifts to men,” Apostle Paul continues in Ephesians 4, “The one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Messiah, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Messiah…” (Ephesians 4:9-13).
Enlivened by the Holy Spirit and enabled by his charisms, the Church grows into the fullness of Messiah, who is in heaven in all his glory. Yeshua told the apostles at the Last Supper, “…if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).
Though Matthew’s Gospel does not narrate the actual event of the Ascension, it presents the Great Commission in its place when the apostles go up the mountain with Yeshua for the last time: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). Only when they are emboldened by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost do the apostles then have the courage to go out and do so (Acts 2).
Further, speaking of the gifts connected with the coming Holy Spirit, Yeshua said to the apostles, “The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that [I] told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” (John 14:26-27).
Earlier Yeshua had told the disciples that after he ascended, the Holy Spirit would come down upon them with power. At Pentecost, they received the Holy Spirit like tongues of fire. Today, every born-again believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who gives wisdom and power to live the believer’s life.
The command of Yeshua to his followers was to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. The gospel first spread to the Jews, then to the Jewish/mixed-race Samaritans, then to the Gentiles. Believers have a responsibility to spread the good news about Yeshua and his teachings to all who have not heard.
The fact that Yeshua the Messiah is at the “right hand of God” was a sign to the disciples that Yeshua had indeed gone to heaven. In John 16:7-15, Yeshua told the disciples that He had to go away and He would send the Holy Spirit. So the coming of the Holy Spirit in the upper room on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13) was proof positive that Yeshua was indeed in heaven seated at the right hand of God. This is confirmed in Romans 8:34 where the Apostle Paul writes that Messiah is sitting at God’s right hand making intercession for us.