(This article is the sister to the last post. I have wanted to write this for a long time and since people showed enthusiasm for the last one I did so. I am writing it as concisely as I can again, but I think it will take effort and concentration to follow.)
Jesus was tempted and assaulted by evil during the course of His whole life. The 40 days and 40 nights that the Lord was tempted are symbolic of temptations that actually took place his whole life. These temptations and battles that took place were of an intensity far beyond what we could even imagine. The process of overcoming these temptations is how Christ purified his human and accomplished the glorification. In the last post I described how he made His Human divine truth; in this post I am describing the process of how he made His human divine love. (I see this as the single most fascinating subject there is).
Christ could be tempted by evil because he had a human body from his mother. All humans have Hereditary evil; it is passed from generation to generation through the body, and the soul. The evil that comes from the father is more interior, because of the soul; and the evil that comes from the mother is more exterior, because from the body. Hereditary evil in the body can be removed by regeneration. Interior evil from the soul can be regenerated, but cannot be removed. Therefore, because Christ soul was from Jehovah himself, he had no interior evil from the Father, but he did have hereditary evil from the mother in His body. By being born Jesus ‘entered the fish bowl’, so to speak, that is, He made himself accessible to all humanity, and at the same time to all evil. But the brilliance of this is that Jesus now had access to evil. He needed to be able to be tempted by the evil so He could subjugate all evil!
Also, it is essential to understand that God (in His purity) could not come down and change humans. For if God in His purity were to approach a man He would instantly destroy any man. It would be like approaching the sun. The hereditary evil in man would burn up. But because God was born a man on earth with hereditary evil He could be among humans and not destroy them. (It is also essential to see that before the incarnation humanity and religion had separated themself from God, for there was no more charIty in the church. This was lost in a very real way, which I demonstrate at length in my book but it is too much to describe here.)
The Lord grew like other men. He learned and grew in skills, except at a much greater rate and power. With his exceptional spiritual and intellectual skills he was tempted by spiritual pride, and every other vice during his growth. Day by day, step-by-step, He overcame all temptations. Evil forces tempted Him with power, fame, greed, wealth, and comfort. He was tempted but He never sinned. The nature of sin is that as long as we are mulling a deed over in mind, it is not yet sin, but when the deed enters our will, it becomes sin. Jesus was tempted to rage, vengeance, lust, pride, and self-love. The evil knew who He was and unrelentingly tried to persuade him to sinful actions by incredible magical arts. But Jesus overcame all temptation! He was able to see and reject the evil of men and women.
To give some insight to the depth of these assaults, Swedenborg writes that even the angels of heaven tempted Him, because angles, even though good, are former humans and have remnants of hereditary evil. Swedenborg writes: “He foresaw and overcame the most subtle of all temptations from the angels”. It took the power and might of His Divine Soul to overcome and do what no human could do.
Christ’s greatest temptation had to do with his boundless love and compassion for humanity. The evil forces knew this, so like terrorists on earth, they sought to destroy that which He loves the most in order to torment Him.
Now it is very important to note that evil attacks according to ones innermost love, for from this they can destroy a person’s life; and because Christ possessed the greatest love to ever be all the forces of hell sought to destroy him. Each time Christ overcame a temptation He removed hereditary evil from His body and took another step in purifying His human body. And each time He removed hereditary evil, He entered a greater state of light, and the state of his love rose to a higher level.
Now, let’s examine the implications of this process. The progressive temptations the Lord underwent and overcame, and the ever-increasing love He opened to, sets up an ever-increasing equation. As said above, it is a universal law of the hells that they seek to destroy a person by attacking their innermost love, and every time a temptation is overcome one’s state of love increases to a new level. In the case of Christ, His soul possessed infinite potential because His father was God. Swedenborg writes, “Because this love (of Christ toward humanity) was not human but Divine, and temptation is great in proportion as the love is great, it is evident how grievous were His combats, and how great the ferocity on the part of the hells. That these things were so I know of a certainty”. So the ever-increasing formula is this: the more Christ overcame temptations and purified his human the higher his quality of love became, which in turn led the hells to attack with increased force at the higher level, and when He overcame that temptation, His quality of love increased again, and so on to the point of infinity! Here is an amazing way to understand this further. I believe this process of the Glorification has correspondence to Einstein’s theory of particle acceleration; the later of which states: The closer a particle approaches the speed of light, the greater its mass becomes, and this increase continues exponentially to the horizon of infinity. The formula states: the values of mass becomes greater as the velocity of the moving body approaches the velocity of light. If the speed of the object reaches the speed of light then theoretically the mass becomes infinitely.
But it is also a universal law of physics that matter can never reach the speed of light for there is an infinite inertia that prevents it. Its inertial resistance grows to an infinite extent and prevents the velocity of light from being reached (Max Born, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, 277).
The process of the Glorification and the formula of particle acceleration correspond. But in the Glorification Jesus broke all the laws of physics, and He broke the universal law that the material can never enter the spiritual world. This correspondence informs how profoundly rigorous and how profoundly unique the Glorification is. It is only the infinite love, wisdom and power of Jesus that could overcome the the law of the infinite inertia of the material world and make His body divine.
Compared to Einstein’s formula I we could say that m (mass) corresponds to the body of Jesus, and v(velocity) corresponds to the accelerating love and wisdom of Jesus; c (the speed of light) corresponds to reaching the infinite potential, making his body divine, and entering the innermost of all things. The inertial resistance corresponds to the barrier between the natural world and the spiritual world, which physical substance (a body) cannot cross.
Max Born’s statement about the infinite resistance of inertia preventing the speed of light helps us appreciate the miraculous nature of the resurrection. Jesus removed the last resistance by overcoming the last temptation on the cross. When He did this the earth shook and the curtain for the Holy of Holies was rent, which indicates there was a universal change of state in earth and heaven. His love and presence extended now from the minutest material to above heaven. He became the alpha and omega; He entered the innermost of all things. The only way to overcome the universal law of physics is to become the new innermost law of everything. In short He resurrected his body and brought into heaven. This is the mystery of all mysteries and the greatest event in all History.