Significance of Jesus sitting or standing

I got into a discussion with a coworker today about Jesus sitting/standing at the right hand of the Father. Wondered if you had some sort of study notes on this, that you could send my way.

I seem to remember the significance of Him standing when Stephen sees Him, as being something about the judgement. Do you have a study that contains the verses comparing standing and sitting and the difference?

I could not locate a written study explaining the Lord Jesus sitting and then standing, but here is a quick explanation.

In Acts 1 Jesus Christ ascended back into heaven.  In explaining the death, burial, resurrection and ascension to the nation of Israel, Peter said in Acts 2:34-36,

“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.”

So at this point Jesus Christ is sitting on the right hand of God.  The verses say he will sit there “Until” his enemies are “make thy foes thy footstool.”

After a year of preaching to Israel, giving them another opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as their Messiah, Stephen was brought before the council and declares (Acts 7:51-53):

“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.  Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:  Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.”

In Israel’s rejection of the preaching of Stephen by the Spirit of God, they stoned him.  And while they are stoning him he see Jesus “standing” and declares it (Acts 7:54-60): 

“When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.  But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,  And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.  Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,  And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.  And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.  And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

Since Jesus is seen standing, it was time for his enemies to be made his footstool.  A time for judgment to fall.  In the book of Revelation 5:6 Jesus is seen “standing.”  According to Isaiah 2:19,21 and 3:13  Jesus Christ will “arise to shake terribly the earth” and to “judge the people.”

However in Acts 7:58 we see there a man “whose name was Saul.”  And in Acts 9 God saved Saul and commissioned Saul to be Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles and revealed to him the dispensation of the grace of God.  Instead, God postponed His wrath, and dispensed grace, ushering in the mystery of the age we now live in. 

Hope that is enough information for you for now.