Posted in theology

Throne: What is it? Why is it always high? What about the throne of God?

By Elizabeth Prata

As a kid you must have played king or queen. You know, you look for something to wear as a crown, use a stick as a scepter, a fancy chair as throne, with a blanket pinned to your shoulders as the train. Many of us play-pretended being a sovereign and ordered the teddy bears around.

As a young adult I was fascinated with Medieval and Renaissance eras of history. I visited castles, saw majestic paintings of famous sovereigns such as Queen Elizabeth I on her throne, and mused about the queenly life.

Whenever you see a throne the chair itself in the scene is always sitting on something raised- a dais, a stage, or steps- like the throne of Charlemagne below.

What is a throne?

The throne itself symbolizes the very nature of sovereignty. It has become the symbol of power and authority. Lexham Bible Dictionary defines throne as “THRONE (Greek, thronos). A chair or seat occupied by one who possesses great honor. Symbolizes authority, rule, and power.

Throne of Charlemagne at Aachen Cathedral. Source Wikipedia. photo creative commons

Why is a throne always raised up?

Sitting physically higher than his subjects, a king is symbolically showing that he is higher than they are in class, power, and might. It also symbolically shows he is the one in authority.

A throne is “An elevated seat occupied by a person with authority (e.g., a king). It symbolises the dignity, honour, sovereignty and the kingdom of the king whose seat it is. Supremely, these things belong to God himself.” Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes

Throne in the Bible

Once you begin looking, you’ll see that throne is mentioned many times in the Old testament and in the New. Source for the below list of verses is Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes.

  • A throne also symbolises sovereignty- The royal power of earthly kings 1Ki 1:13 “Sit upon a throne” means “to exercise royal power”. See also Dt 17:18.

This verse is fulfilled ultimately in Jesus Christ- “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father DavidLuke 1:32).

Source for the above list of verses, Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes.

The Throne of God

If Kings and Queens of the earth have a special seat that indicate their status; and the seat is highly ornate and decorated – distinguishing it from all others; and their throne is higher than all others … what should we think about the throne of God???

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. (Isaiah 6:1).

The Ancient of Days ReignsI kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; (Daniel 7:9).

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and someone was sitting on the throne. (Revelation 4:1-2).

Poole’s Commentary says, “A throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne: God is constantly described, in the prophetical visions, as sitting upon a throne, to denote his power and dominion, that he is the King of kings, and Lord of lords. See Daniel 7:9, &c.”

At His Right Hand

Jesus is seated, and moreover, He is sitting at the right hand of the father. What does this mean?

The line from the Apostles’ Creed “He sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty” has both theological and practical implications. The “right hand” is seen as a place of honor and status throughout the biblical text. When the Bible makes statements that Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of the Father, it is affirming that he has equal status to the Father within the Godhead (Hebrews 1:3, 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22; Acts 7:55-56). (Grand Canyon University).

We see this in the verse from 1 Peter 3:22,

who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him. (1 Peter 3:22).

Christ is on His throne, as is His due. He is reigning and sustaining all things by the power of His word. he is ministering among the lampstands, and keeping a watchful eye on His elect.

“He stood in the sinner’s place, and the guilt of all his elect was imputed to him. God accounted him as a sinner, and as a sinner, he could not enter heaven until he had washed all that sin away in a crimson flood … and the fact that the Father allowed him to ascend up on high—that he gave him leave, as it were, to enter heaven, and that he said, “Sit thou on my right hand,” proves that he must have perfected his Father’s work, and that his Father must have accepted his sacrifice.” Spurgeon, Christ Exalted

“From this we gather, that the dignity which Christ now enjoys is surpassing dignity. There is no honor, there is no dignity to be compared to that of Christ. No angel flies higher than he does. Save only the great Three-One God, there is none to be found in heaven who can be called superior to the person of the man Christ Jesus. He sits on the right hand of God, “Far above all angels, and principalities, and powers, and every name that is named.” His Father “hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and of things on earth, and of things under the earth.” No dignity can shine like his. The sons of righteousness that have turned many to God, are but as stars compared with him, the brightest of the suns there. As for angels, they are but flashes of his own brightness, emanations from his own glorious self. He sits there, the great masterpiece of Deity.” Spurgeon, Christ Exalted

The only true throne is the one upon which Jesus sits. The only true sovereign power is the one that emanates from the throne upon which Jesus sits. His throne is the pinnacle in all the universe. The Person who sits on it is not only the most powerful, most sovereign, most authoritative highest person in the universe, if you are saved by grace through faith, He is also your friend. You will see this throne and we will bow to Him on the Day. What a joyous moment!

Author:

Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

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