Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. (8:1)
As mentioned before, the Levitical priests never sat down. “And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins” (Heb. 10:11). The priest’s job was never done, because the sacrifices he offered were never permanently effective. They had to be repeated over and over again. In his ministering at the altar, therefore, the priest never rested, because he was never through. No place was provided in the Tabernacle or the Temple for the priests to sit down. The mercy seat in the Holy of Holies was not really a seat at all. In any case, it would have been utterly blasphemous for the high priest (the only person allowed in the Holy of Holies, and then only briefly once a year) to have presumed to sit on the mercy seat, which represented God’s throne and His special presence.
When Jesus Christ offered His sacrifice, however, He sat down (cf. 1:3). He was qualified to sit down because His work was done. Among His last words on the cross were, “It is finished.” He accomplished in one glorious act what all the priests of the Old Covenant had not accomplished and could never have accomplished—forgiveness of men’s sins and thereby their reconciliation with God. What a marvelous and wonderful thing it is. He did it all in one sacrifice, the sacrifice of Himself. As far as our salvation is concerned, He has taken His seat. He has accomplished all that can be accomplished, all that needs to be done. Yet, people are still trying to add to the simple, pure grace of God and salvation by faith, though it is absurd to think that the work of Christ needs anything added to it. The saving effort of our Lord cannot have anything added to it, because it is absolutely perfect.
This truth should have been the most joyous news possible to Jews. Imagine, a final sacrifice, a finished work, so that the high priest could sit down—and at God’s right hand!
The right hand of a monarch symbolized honor, exaltation, and power. To stand at his right hand was honor, but to sit there, supreme honor. Christ sat down at the right hand of the throne of thrones, God’s heavenly, eternal throne.
The idea of sitting at the right hand may have reminded some Jews of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council of seventy elders. This group had both civil and religious authority and acted administratively as well as judicially. Even under Roman rule, the Sanhedrin was allowed considerable power, as evidenced by its role in Jesus’ final arrest and crucifixion. It was a kind of supreme court, and more. When the members sat in judgment, a scribe, or secretary, sat on either side of the presiding judge. The scribe on the left side was responsible for writing condemnations, while the one on the right was responsible for writing acquittals. Jesus said that He came into the world not to condemn but to save (John 3:17). As High Priest, He now sits in the place not only of honor and power but of mercy. He sits there making intercession (Heb. 7:25)—writing acquittals, as it were—for His own.
Jesus Christ has been given the place of honor. He has been ushered into the heavenly Holy of Holies. He has been seated with God on His throne. Even more amazing is that, as believers, we will one day be invited to sit on that same throne. “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Rev. 3:21).
The book of Hebrews repeatedly reminds us that Christ is at the right hand of God. I think the purpose of these reminders is to assure those who were deprived of the Temple services in Jerusalem that they did not need to fear losing out on what was going on in the symbolic, temporary Holy of Holies. They had the true, perfect, eternal Priest in the real, heavenly Holy of Holies, of which the earthly one was only a poor and soon-passing picture. In the real one, Jesus Christ was ministering and interceding for them. Thus, the crowning argument for the superior priesthood of Jesus Christ is His exaltation into heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand—the place of honor, mercy, and intercession.
A tragic but beautiful story from the book of Acts comes to mind in regard to Jesus’ sitting at God’s right hand. Just before Stephen was taken out of Jerusalem to be stoned to death for preaching so powerfully before the Sanhedrin, “he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). As far as redemption is concerned, Jesus is seated, because He rests from the finished work of redemption. But when one of His own falls into trouble, He stands up, because He takes the position of action. His power and His energy are immediately activated in behalf of His beloved. He is seated as our Redeemer, but is standing as our Helper in time of need.
The fact that Jesus Christ, in all His glory, in all His magnitude, in all His exaltation in heaven, is still preoccupied with ministering to us is awesome, and wonderful, and humbling. He is always serving. He condescends even in His glory now on the throne of God to stand up and minister in our behalf whenever we need Him. He did not receive His majesty as something to be selfishly enjoyed. It is in Jesus Christ that majesty and service are perfectly joined.
1. Now of the things, &c. That readers might know the subject he handles, he reminds them that his object is to prove that Christ’s priesthood, by which that of the law had been abolished, is spiritual. He, indeed, proceeds with the same argument; but as he contends with various reasonings, he introduced this admonition, that he might keep his readers attentive to what he had in view.
He has already shewn that Christ is a high priest; he now contends that his priesthood is celestial. It hence follows, that by his coming the priesthood established by Moses under the law was made void, for it was earthly. And as Christ suffered in the humble condition of his flesh, and having taken the form of a servant, made himself of no reputation in the world, (Phil. 2:7;) the Apostle reminds us of his ascension, by which was removed not only the reproach of the cross, but also of that abject and mean condition which he had assumed together with our flesh; for it is by the power of the Spirit which gloriously appeared in the resurrection and the ascension of Christ, that the dignity of his priesthood is to be estimated. He then reasons thus—“Since Christ has ascended to the right hand of God, that he might reign gloriously in heaven, he is not the minister of the earthly but of the heavenly sanctuary.”
1 TNIV appropriately captures the force of the opening words: “Now the main point of what we are saying is this.” He is drawing out the implications of the argument so far, and the verbal echo “such a high priest” links this verse closely with the conclusion of the preceding chapter, as Ellingworth, 393, neatly explains: “The relation between the two passages is simply: (1) we need such a high priest (7:26–28); (2) we have such a high priest (8:1f.).” “Sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven” clearly echoes 1:3, itself based on Psalm 110:1. It is on the basis of Psalm 110:4 that our author has just established Jesus’ priesthood, and now he links this theme with the other main contribution of Psalm 110 to his argument, namely, the declaration that this same person is the “lord” enthroned at God’s right hand. He is thus the heavenly priest-king to whom the priest-king Melchizedek pointed forward. That is what has been established by the argument so far.
8:1 / The point of the argument centers on the actual reality and sufficiency of our high priest. He has been able definitively to accomplish what the levitical priesthood pointed toward in anticipation. He now has assumed his rightful place at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven (this is a circumlocution for “God”; cf. 1:3). Once again the wording alludes to Psalm 110:1. Jesus is where he is because of who he is—both Son (cf. 4:14) and high priest (cf. Ps. 110:4).
8:1. Several chapters of Hebrews have been devoted to discussing the work of Christ as our high priest. Now we come to this succinct summary: Christ serves his people before God by offering a sacrifice for sin.
Christ had sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven. This repeats a point already established in 1:3 but now with a clear application to the role of Christ as High Priest. The idea that Christ was seated comes from Psalm 110:1. The act of sitting down suggested that Jesus’ task was done. He had finished his job. By contrast, the priests of Aaron’s line always stood in God’s presence without sitting (see Heb. 10:11). Their act of standing suggested an incomplete task. Jesus had accomplished the work whose completion the priests could only anticipate.
Majesty is a reverent reference to God the Father. The word showed that Christ had assumed a position of dignity, power, and excellence as a result of his faithful work.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Hebrews (pp. 206–208). Chicago: Moody Press.
 Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews (pp. 178–179). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
 France, R. T. (2006). Hebrews. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, pp. 105–106). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (p. 116). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
 Lea, T. D. (1999). Hebrews, James (Vol. 10, p. 152). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.