By Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry Jr
The first of the enthronement passages in the post-resurrection age is Acts 2:30ff. This text associates Christ’s enthronement with his exaltation, which begins with his resurrection and proceeds to his ascension and session at God’s right hand. Concerning David’s prophecy anticipating his seed who will sit upon his throne, Peter proclaims:
Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. . . . Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Ac 2:30, 31, 33–36)
David’s prophecy regarding one who will sit on his throne looks to the “resurrection.” Christ suffers ultimate humiliation on the cross and in the tomb. But then his resurrection initiates his exaltation in preparation for his ascension to God’s throne, the place of universal rule and authority. There he is “crowned with glory” (Heb 2:9) to begin his rule (o 8:34; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb 12:2; 1Pe 3:22; Rev 3:21.) by wielding all authority and power (Mt 28:18; Ro 1:4; Eph 1:21).
A mighty transformation takes place in Christ’s ministry as a direct result of his resurrection. The outpouring of the Spirit (Ac 2:34–36) powerfully exhibits his regal authority. This celebrates his coronation by distributing gifts to his subjects, in the manner of a warrior-king returning triumphantly to his capital city upon his victory over the enemy (Ac 2:33; Eph 4:7–12). It promises his royal assistance to his people (Ro 8:34).
Since his ascension Christ’s enthronement is an accomplished fact. The New Testament is replete with the confident refrain of his coronation and enthronement. We are not awaiting his future kingship: He is now already enthroned. Indeed, in the New Testament the most quoted or alluded to Old Testament passage is Psalm 110. That passage records God the Father’s word to Christ the Son: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” In various forms it appears sixteen times in the New Testament ((Mt 22:44; 26:64; Mk 12:36; 14:62; 16:19; Lk 20:42–43; 22:69; Ac 2:34–35; Ro 8:34; 1Co 15:25; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb 1:3, 13; 8:1; 10:12). His sitting at God’s “right hand” is a semantic equivalent to sitting on God’s throne, as is evident in Revelation 3:21: “I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Contrary to John Walvoord Revelation 3:21 does not require a millennial throne for Christ, which is both entirely future and wholly separate from the Father’s throne.1 It no more refers to two distinct thrones than Jesus’ statement to Mary in John 20:17 requires two distinct persons, when He speaks of “my Father and your Father.” The throne of God and of Christ is one throne (Rev 22:1, 3).
1. Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, 98–100.