“He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,
and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
(Hebrews 1:3, ESV)
The opening passage of Hebrews transitions from the statement about the ways in which God has spoken into a statement about Jesus as both King and Priest. In Hebrews 1:3 the author is developing the sequence of events in the redemptive work of Christ. Jesus sat down at the right hand of God after he sacrificed his own life. That sacrifice was unique in that priests do not generally sacrifice themselves, but Jesus was able to function as both the priest and the sacrifice.
Jesus’ perfection enabled his priestly work to also be perfect. Upon the completion of the sacrifice, Jesus ascended to heaven and claimed his rightful place at God’s right hand. Some interpreters have suggested a symbolic interpretation of “sat down” and “right hand” in order to signify that Jesus received a privileged position and is deserving of honor. Jesus’ authority to rule over his worldwide kingdom is derived from that privileged position at the right hand of God.