“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
“Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” – Acts 14: 22
Tribulations represent temptations. Temptations are the only way evils can be removed. In the Word ‘Washing their robes and make them white’ means to remove temptations. Temptations take place in life, and in the afterlife in the world of spirits. God seeks to put everyone on earth through temptations for the sake of their redemption. A person will only undergo temptations in the spiritual world if they are being prepared for heaven. They have to have an inner will that primarily loves good in order to be able to go through the temptation, and these can be very severe, or relatively mild depending on the level of evil and false beliefs the person adhered to. The trial of a temptation causes change in the soul, mind and body of a person, they force a person to come to terms with their feeling and attitude to God. It removes false beliefs and evil attachments. Overcoming temptations allows for the reception and connection of a person to heaven and God. They humble a person, soften the soul so one is willing to change, thus form the bond with God that saves.
Now in regard to our question it is important to understand that in the centuries before Jesus was born the life and religion of man had descended int a state of desolation and darkness. What people don’t think of is that when this happens there is a loss of abilities in the mind and soul of Man, just like the muscles atrophy when one never exercised. Not only is there this effect in man, but along with it, Man became disconnected to God. Everything in the spiritual world is achieved by process, just as we know and see it is in the natural world, so there was a profound structural loss between heaven and earth. Knowledge of God and heaven is established through the church on earth. The church on earth at the time was the Jewish church and everything in the Jewish, worship, rituals, and tribes provided correspondences with Heaven. (To deeply understand this question one must have a good understanding of the darkness on earth before Jesus was born; and, one must for a deep understanding of how correspondences connect earth to heaven, so one can perceive the dire significance of how and why these were lost. These are both huge subjects in themselves, and I can only give an idea here.)
Jesus had to repair the loss and atrophy in the psyche and mind and soul of man. If He had not man would be lost in abysmal darkness. During His life from birth to the cross evil underwent temptations of an intensity and rigor we can not imagine. What Jesus achieved in him self was absolutely necessary in saving humanity. In the process of overcoming all temptations of every kind and detail Jesus was at the same time restoring all of humanities and the church’s connection to heaven; and He also restored the potential in every persons body to soul communication, -only he is the macro and we are the micro, He is infinite and we are finite. This internal body being communication is necessary for a Man to have a relationship with God.
The reason for this is that every person is a microcosm of the divine human and of heaven. We are made in His image; which means the whole of heaven is in the form of the divine human, and so, every person ever born is a ‘little heaven’; finite, but unique and whole. The divine human is a distinct level above heaven, and heaven a distinct level above man in the natural world. Each is distinct, and the higher levels are in greater light and completeness, but each is connected by correspondences. Every word in the Bible also has correspondences with heaven. This is how they contain divine truth in all it infinite variety. So when Man and the Word became desolate on earth the correspondences of heaven to earth atrophied, and at the same time the body to soul connection in man atrophied. When Man and the church become external like this there is nothing in him for heaven to correspond to. There has to be a live correspondent on earth in the natural world that corresponds to its counterpart in the spiritual world. You can visualize this like an electrical circuit where there has to be a node on each side for there to be reception and flow of electricity, otherwise the energy just dissipates away.
All the forces of evil constantly seek to bring about this separation of love and truth, of the internal from the external. But God ever seeks to bring union between them, and by this redeems Man. The immense forces of hell before Jesus was born had become so great they were overrunning the equilibrium between heaven and hell. These forces of hell destroy the workings in man’s mind that are able to see and receive heaven. This caused the great increase in the separation between God and man. The forces of hell knew who Jesus was and attacked Him His whole life, tempting Him and seeking to destroy him; and this they did with an intensity and fury unimaginable to the human mind. Jesus overcame them with the might of love and wisdom in His soul. He fought with mercy and forgiveness in His heart and in overcoming them one by one he forged and experienced every possible point of growth in the trials of life that is the example and template far all humans – for all time. The evil on earth when the Lord was born was at the greatest point it had ever been or ever will be and Jesus overcemae this with the greatest love and wisdom that had ever been.
In Man to rebuild the circuit a bond must be formed and this is done by overcoming temptations and trials in our life, repenting, and thus bonding with God. The Lord is always with us and providentially guides us, but He leaves us in freedom to do so for the bond can only take place mutually, in freedom. This takes place very much like a plant grows from a seed in soft soil, puts our shoots, branches, roots and vines, and eventually there is a whole cultivated garden. Even in writing this my soul lights up like a firefly.
To have a clear picture of this it is essential to understand the big picture for the big picture corresponds to the psyche of man. In the glorification and the resurrection Jesus rebuilt the structure of the whole universe. Evil had overrun the world of spirits and the lower parts of heaven and Jesus defeated and subjugated all of these from hell and put them in their place. He put all of heaven into order. He built a chasm between heaven and hell that cannot be crossed. In achieving these things Jesus brought exponentially greater light into the world and life of Man. His supreme growth in consciousness and wisdom paved the way in the psyche of individuals and humanity to be able to find and enter a state of enlightenment. It is the union the Lord achieved, between His human body and divine soul, that illumines the minds of all people who seek sincerely. By this union He entered the innermost of all and established a direct relationship between himself and every person.