Though we may not always be consciously aware of it, we who live under the new covenant are in a much better position than those who lived under the old covenant. We live in the days of completed revelation and know a Savior who is far better than the angels and Moses (Heb. 1:1–3:6). We worship the one who alone can bring us into the Sabbath rest of God (3:7–4:13).
Jesus can bring us into God’s perfect rest because of the work that He has done on our behalf. He has shed His perfect blood for the remission of our sins (chap. 9). He has offered up His own body once and for all as the only effectual sacrifice for sin (10:1–10).
The original audience of the epistle to the Hebrews had temporarily forgotten these facts and was thinking of going back to the era of imperfect sacrifices. In today’s passage, we see how the author yet again reminded them (and reminds us today) of the superiority of the new era. We see that the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ makes Him superior to the old covenant priests who continued to stand at the altar because their work was never finished (v. 11). Christ, however, did finish His work, sitting at God’s right hand to rule and reign because His offering accomplished the perfection of the people of God (vv. 12–14). Though we may not yet manifest this perfection in our day-to-day experiences, if we are in Christ we are counted as perfectly holy and will most certainly manifest this holiness more and more in this life before we are made perfectly holy at His return.
John Owen tells us that the reign of Christ described in verses 12 and 13 guarantees that Christ’s offering will do all these things. He writes: “God was completely pleased, satisfied, and highly glorified in and through Christ’s offering; for had this not been so, Christ’s human nature would not have been immediately exalted to the highest glory possible.”
Christ is seated at the right hand of God the Father, and today He possesses this glory. He is seated on the throne of David, graciously extending history so that He can make those of us who live thousands of years later subjects in His kingdom. Though much of His reign may be invisible at the present, the perfect King now sits on the throne over His people in power to rule and defend us.
Though we long for the day when the created order will be renewed, we do not have to wait for Jesus to sit upon His throne. He is ruling today and gradually bringing all things into subjection. Look at your life for areas that do not reflect subjection to Christ’s rule and begin taking steps to manifest His reign in all areas of your life.