1 Peter – Chapter Three XXXV

by Ed Urzi

“who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him” (1 Peter 3:22).

The Biblical Scriptures often employ the imagery of one’s right hand to symbolize power, authority, or favor. That image derives from an ancient, cross-cultural symbol of leadership and dominion. Since most human beings are right-handed, the right hand (or right arm) served as a metaphor that depicted skill, strength, and power to the peoples of the ancient world.

This eventually led to a further association with the concepts of privilege, influence, virtue, approval, and supremacy. In fact, we continue to employ this ancient imagery whenever we use the term “right hand” to refer to someone who supports and assists a person in a position of authority. The idea is that such a person is as valuable to a leader as his or her own right hand.

This imagery reappears periodically in the pages of the New Testament, perhaps most prominently in the Biblical book of Hebrews…

“…when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3 KJV).

“But to which of the angels has He ever said: ‘Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool’?” (Hebrews 1:13).

“Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1).

“…after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12).

Thus, for Christ to be seated at the right hand of God tells us that He occupies the place of highest privilege and authority. That place is one that is above all “…angels and authorities and powers.” The following commentator will close our look at 1 Peter chapter three with a practical application from this passage…

“After Jesus accomplished His cross work and was raised from the dead, He was exalted to the place of prominence, honor, majesty, authority, and power (cf. Ro 8:34; Eph 1:20, 21; Php 2:9–11; Heb 1:3–9; 6:20; 8:1; 12:2). The point of application to Peter’s readers is that suffering can be the context for one’s greatest triumph, as seen in the example of the Lord Jesus.” (1)

This reference to suffering and triumph prepares us for entry into 1 Peter chapter four, where the great Apostle will counsel his audience on how to deal with adversity in light of Christ’s example.

(1) John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), 1 Pe 3:22.