The Road to Emmaus

A Sermon by Rev. James P. Cooper

Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. (Luke 24:30-31)

Each of the four gospels tells us something that the Lord did or taught after the Resurrection, and each of the four gospels describes a different event or experience. Mark mentions in passing that the Lord appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, but only in Luke do we find the full story as read in our second lesson.

Of the two disciples who walked with the Lord that day, we only know the name of one Cleopas.1 Perhaps, since Luke records the incident in such detail, he was the other, but we don’t know for sure. We do know, however, that they were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus, a distance of about seven miles (or threescore furlongs). Jesus joined them as they walked, but we are told that “their eyes were restrained”2 so that they did not recognize Him. Instead, they took Him to be a fellow traveler who, incredibly, had not heard about the recent events in Jerusalem, and with great zeal they began to tell Him all that had happened.

It’s actually kind of humorous to think how the disciples walked along the road, explaining to the Lord Himself the importance of His own ministry, and their own confusion about their own roles in it all. They told of His power to heal, and to teach, and how the chief priests and the rulers had conspired to put Him to death. They also admitted that they had hoped that He was going to break the yoke of Rome from off the neck of Israel,3 and that they were extremely disappointed that this had not happened. They also explained their confusion about the fact that when some of the disciples had gone to the tomb they had found the body missing. They did not know what to make of that, any more than they understood or believed the report of a vision of angels in the tomb.

Having thus shown the Lord the nature of their faith and understanding, without knowing it, He then began to teach them His understanding of the events of the past few weeks. We’re told that “beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” 4 And, although they did not yet know it was the Lord, we are told that when He taught them, their “hearts burned within them” 5.

When they reached Emmaus, Jesus indicated that He was continuing on, but the disciples were so interested in what He had to say that they insisted that He stay and eat with them. We are told that then, when during the meal the Lord took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, that suddenly, “their eyes were opened and they knew Him”.6

When we think about how often eating and drinking are used as important images in the Word – the wedding feast at Cana, the parable about the wedding feast, the feeding of thousands with a few loaves and fishes, eating with sinners and publicans, and the last supper – to name just a few, we find ourselves asking why are eating and drinking such important images in the Word?

The Heavenly Doctrines of the New Church explain that “because ‘bread’ signifies the Lord in relation to Divine good, and ‘to eat it’ signifies appropriation and conjunction.” 7 That is, as Cleopas and the other disciple walked the road to Emmaus and listened to the Lord’s teaching, they received it with joy. To signify their reception of the truth, He agreed to stay with them, and break bread with them, for this signified the reception and appropriation that had taken place as the things that they had learned from Him that day, and over the past three years, began to make sense and to enter into their lives. Because they now saw the truth from their own lives, it began to live within them, and they were enlightened – they saw with spiritual light, with true, unclouded understanding – and recognized the Lord.

The Arcana tells us that “eating” signifies the conjunction and appropriation of good, while “drinking” signifies the conjunction and appropriation of truth. Another way of expressing this is to say that spiritual food is all the good of faith from which is wisdom, and spiritual drink is all the truth of faith from which is intelligence.

Because it is so important for each of us to have good and truth appropriated to us by the Lord through our choices and actions in this world, feasts, banquets, and other meals are frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and in the Memorable relations of the Heavenly Doctrines. We are also told that this is the spiritual reason why banquets, feasts, dinners, and suppers, were instituted among the ancients in order that they might be associated together by means of the things of wisdom and intelligence.8

Although eating and drinking are images used throughout the Word because they are common to all human beings and therefore draw an intuitive response, eating and drinking are especially emphasized in the events between the Lord’s resurrection and His ascension. The reason for this is to establish very clearly the reality of the Lord’s Divine Human. The Lord was trying to establish a spiritual kingdom, and it was very important that the disciples and the others who were to form the Christian church should not think of Him as a ghost or a spirit. He was God-Man, and this new idea had to be demonstrated in dramatic ways so that the disciples could begin to form their understanding based on these new truths. The Doctrine of the Lord puts it this way

“Since the Lord’s Human was glorified, that is, made Divine, therefore after death He rose again on the third day with His whole body. This does not happen to any man, for man rises again only as to his spirit, and not as to his body. In order that man might know, and that no one might doubt, that the Lord rose again with His whole body, He not only declared it by the angels who were in the sepulcher, but He also showed Himself in His Human body before the disciples, saying to them, when they believed that they saw a spirit, ‘Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.’ (Lk. 2439) …That the Lord might still further prove that He was not a spirit, but a Man, He said to the disciples, ‘”Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence’ (Lk. 2441-43). Since His body was not now material, but Divine substantial, therefore ‘He came in to the disciples, the doors being shut’ (John 2019, 26), and after He had been seen, ‘He vanished from their sight’ (Lk. 2431).” 9

Not only did the Lord need to teach people about the nature of His new spiritual body so that they would know that He was not a ghost or something to be feared, but He also did it to establish the nature of His Second Coming.

The whole Word was written concerning Him, every verse carries in its inmost sense some truth about the Lord and His kingdom. The Lord came into the world to fulfill the things written in the inmost sense, and He tried to show the disciples these things, He tried to open the scriptures for them, but they were only able to see a few little things, which were enough for that time and that place.

He taught in John that “In the beginning was the Word . and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us”,10 which shows us that the Lord and the Word are one, and always have been one, and that all His appearances to men throughout history have been by means of the Word. The only time He appeared physically in the world was during the incarnation, and even that was done to fulfill the scriptures, and was, in a sense, an appearance in the Word.11

Now that He has glorified His Human, He will not return to earth again in a physical body. He cannot take on and glorify another body, for that would be impossible. Since the Human is glorified, it can now only appear to those who are in the spiritual world, or to those who have the eyes of their spirit opened. Therefore, we are taught in the scriptures and in the Heavenly Doctrines that when He showed Himself to the disciples after the resurrection, He first opened the eyes of their spiritual bodies so that they could see Him in His glorified body in the spiritual world “Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him”12.

It was the same with the women at the sepulcher after the resurrection, and at the transfiguration. Therefore, since the Lord consistently appears as a spirit in the Old and New Testaments, does it not become obvious that He will continue to appear to men in the Spirit through the Word, and not return to earth in a physical body?13

A few minutes ago, we noted that when the Lord broke bread with the two disciples in Emmaus, their eyes were opened, and they recognized Jesus. The internal sense of this passage holds out the promise of a similar revelation to each of us, for the Lord comes into our spiritual sight through the good that we do, for bread means the good of love. ‘Seeing’ means faith received from the Lord, for no other faith exists which is truly faith except faith which comes from the Lord. This is also the faith that enables a person to see, that is, to believe.

The Lord appeared to the disciples at a time of great turmoil and confusion in their lives. He taught them truths that were appropriate to their particular states, and when they received those truths, and made them their own, He appeared to them, replacing their confusion with deep understanding, and their sorrow with joy. This story is recorded in the Word to tell us that the same spiritual principles apply in our own lives. We all go through periods of trouble and confusion, where we seem to be like the disciples on their way to Emmaus – moving from one state to another, but we are not sure why we are going, or what we will find when we get there. In such states, when we are unsure and troubled by the many possibilities, we are going through a state of temptation. And since at that time, our freedom of choice is more fully used than at any other time, the Lord draws closer to us than at any other time. He walks with us for a while in our journey through life.

The disciples could have remained wrapped up in their own conversation and ignored the stranger who traveled with them, but they did not, they sought His opinion. Certainly that is a temptation that we face in our journey through life. The combination of extremely attractive forms of home entertainment, and a growing sense of fear and mistrust of strangers tends to keep us at home in our leisure time. Even when families are together in the home, they are often isolated from one another. It’s not unusual today for everyone to have their own personal stereo and headphones, so they don’t even listen to the same music together.

But the story about the disciples on the road to Emmaus opens up the possibility that we, as we travel down the road of life, can look beyond our own experience and opinions, we can look to the Word for guidance, and it will teach us to reach out to our neighbors, to become part of society, to share what we know, and listen with love to what others have to teach, to enjoy and savor the simple pleasure of being with and caring for our friends and family. If we approach the Word with an affirmative spirit, the truths there will cause our hearts to burn within us, as they touch the inmost loves of our souls. But if we stop there, we will never see the Lord, He will continue on His way. We have to consciously invite Him in to eat with us, that is, we must appropriate good to ourselves. There is only one way to do that, and that is by living according to the truth we know from the Word. We do this at first from self-compulsion, because we have not yet seen the Lord in the truth, but once we begin to love the truth, once it becomes a part of our lives, then our eyes will be opened and we will begin to see the Lord’s presence in our life. The good that we do will cause our minds to be enlightened by spiritual truth, and that light will shine forth and show us the all wonders of heaven, and we will see the face of the Lord as its eternal King. Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.”14


1st Lesson GEN 1414-20

Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. {15} He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. {16} So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people. {17} And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him. {18} Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. {19} And he blessed him and said “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; {20} And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. Amen.

2nd Lesson LUK 2413-35

Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. {14} And they talked together of all these things which had happened. {15} So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. {16} But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. {17} And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” {18} Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” {19} And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, {20} “and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. {21} “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. {22} “Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. {23} “When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. {24} “And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” {25} Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! {26} “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” {27} And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. {28} Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. {29} But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. {30} Now it came to pass, as He sat at the

them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. {31} Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. {32} And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” {33} So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, {34} saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” {35} And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread. Amen.

3rd Lesson AE 617 (port)

AE 6172 “To eat” and “to drink” are often mentioned in the Word, and those who have no knowledge of the spiritual sense can have no other idea than that natural eating and drinking are thereby meant. but “to eat” and “to drink” signify to nourish oneself spiritually, consequently to appropriate to oneself good and truth, “to eat” signifying to appropriate to oneself good, and “to drink” to appropriate to oneself truth. …To be nourished spiritually is to be instructed and imbued, consequently to know, to understand, and to be wise.

AE 6174 [For example when the Lord fed five thousand men, besides women and children, with five loaves and two fishes. And when they had eaten and were filled, they took up twelve baskets of fragments.] This miracle was done because previously the Lord had been teaching them, and they had received and appropriated to themselves His doctrine; this is what they ate spiritually; therefore natural eating followed, that is, flowed in out of heaven with them as the manna did with the sons of Israel, unknown to them; for when the Lord wills, spiritual food which also is real food but only for spirits and angels, is changed into natural food, just as it was turned into manna every morning. Amen.

Opening Prayer

0 Lord, we are troubled and confused because Your ways are not our ways, and we do not always know how to guide our lives according to Your will. 0 Lord, show us the way to the fountain of wisdom, help us know the way wherein we should go, for in our hearts, we wish to follow You in innocence. Amen.

Closing Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ, lead us through the difficulties of our life on earth by the truth of Your Word so that we can learn to do what is true. Help us to break the bread of life with You and with others so that we may share in mutual love, and so learn to live the life of heaven. 0 Lord, open our minds with spiritual truth that we may see You clearly as You are in Your spiritual kingdom. Amen.

Page last modified October 8, 2000

The Final Victory Over Hell

A Sermon by the Rev. James P. Cooper

Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. (Mark 16:6)

Jesus Christ, as we know Him from the New Testament, was a very pleasant person. He was seldom angry, He was loyal to His friends, He was patient, He knew all kinds of amazing things, and was very good at teaching them in dozens of different ways. He might even remind us of that teacher who seemed to take a special interest in our progress at school, who knew how to reach us, and who also knew how to inspire us to make that extra effort and produce work that was above our usual standard. As a man of the world, as an example to others, the Lord has had a profound effect on the lives of millions of people who have come to know of Him through their study of the Word.

It is because the Lord presented Himself in such a way during His life in the world that we approach Easter with such mixed feelings; feelings of joy for the risen Lord and the battle won, mixed with feelings of sadness that it had to be done in this way.

It is much the same as the way people feel when a World War is over: The ecstatic delight that the horror is finally over, colored by the numbness and the sadness of all the needless tragedy that had gone before.

We have to face the fact that evil is a part of life in the natural world. We cannot wish it away. We have to face it squarely and deal with it according to the rules that the Lord has given us. There is only one way to savor the delight of victory, and that is to conquer in temptation.

We are gathered today to savor the delight of the Lord’s victory over hell, not only because He won the victory and we are on His “side,” but also because through His victory over hell He has brought an order into the spiritual world which means that forevermore, everyone’s battles against hell will be that much easier.

The battles that the Lord fought against hell during His time in the world could not be avoided, for it was His purpose and intent to face the hells in the natural world, the only arena where they could be permitted to approach closely enough to Him to actually have some effect. As we read in our lesson, it is a matter of the universal Christian faith that the Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah, came into the world to subjugate the hells and to glorify His Human; and without this no mortal could have been saved (Faith 34). In other words, it was the Lord’s Divine Purpose from the very beginning that this battle should be fought and won in the natural world, for only by so doing could the Lord bring the evils that men had introduced into the world under such bonds as to allow men to live in the world in spiritual freedom and eventually come to heaven.

In order to understand and appreciate this, we also have to have a correct understanding of who Jesus really was, and why it was necessary for Him to come into the world. The heavenly doctrines of the New Church give us five key thoughts to lead us into a true understanding of the real meaning of the miracle of Easter morning.

First, we are told that it is a universal of faith that God is one in Person and in Essence in whom there is a Trinity, and that the Lord is that God (Faith 35). This idea is basic to our whole understanding of the nature of God, for it is essential that we know that Jesus Christ, the Teacher who walked on earth and was crucified, was in fact the Jehovah God of the Old Testament. This is clearly what He Himself taught, and what was the faith of the Christian Church for over three hundred years, until the leaders of the Christian church invented the doctrine of the trinity of persons and voted to adopt it in order to end a long-standing doctrinal argument.

The second article of faith is that no mortal could have been saved unless the Lord had come into the world (Ibid.). Until the Lord revealed the spiritual history of the world through the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, no one could have known the full meaning of this statement, no one could have known the spiritual danger the human race faced.

The human race, originally created as celestial, pastoral people, had descended, through a series of cycles, to the point where, in spite of the fact that it had achieved the heights of thought and government established by the Greeks and Romans, it had in fact sunk to the very depths of spiritual deprivation. Men in those days could achieve great economic and political power, but they had turned entirely away from spiritual things. They had become so full of the natural world that they were no longer able to recognize spiritual truths when they arrived in the spiritual world after death. This meant that evil spirits were able to easily deceive them, and lead otherwise decent folks into a form of slavery in false heavens. This was only possible because those people entering the spiritual world from earth were so ignorant of spiritual things. It was getting so bad that unless the Lord had done something to inspire the world with some spiritual ideas and ideals, that the human race would have simply expired under the weight of its own love of the world because it would have no longer had any way of receiving spiritual life.

The third point is that as the Lord recognized this spiritual situation as it developed, He knew that He would eventually have to take on the natural degree which men loved so much, and present Himself to them before their natural eyes, and speak into their natural ears and so inspire them to think about and act from spiritual truths once again.

At the same time, by taking on the natural degree itself by taking on a physical body, the Lord deliberately put Himself in a position to receive the assaults of hell, and it is a universal of faith that He came into the world to remove hell from man; that He removed it by combats against it and by victories over it; and that He thus subjugated it, and reduced it to order and under obedience to Himself (Ibid.).

He removed hell from mankind by breaking its power over men. He broke its power by giving mankind another path to choose, by teaching them the way to heaven. He also broke their power by receiving one by one the temptation of each society of hell and resisting it, turning it away, and throwing it back into its proper place in hell. As a result of these battles, the so-called false heavens were destroyed, and those who had been held captive in them were set free to learn the truth (if they wished to) and to find their way to their eternal spiritual homes. The power of hell was broken, and the evil spirits no longer had the power to reach out and “possess” the mind of a man in the world or a new spirit in the spiritual world as they had once had. The power of hell was broken, it was now subject to the government of the Lord once again.

Perhaps it would be useful to mention that hell only got out of control in the first place because of the Lord’s intense desire that everything that we do be of our own free choice. Therefore, as long as it was still possible for those who wished to go to heaven to do so, the Lord allowed evil to grow and grow in the world because that was what the human race wanted for itself. It was only when the human race had brought itself to the point of total destruction that the Lord stepped in to restore spiritual order.

We can think of it in terms of an adult supervising a large group of children in a playground. A certain amount of quarreling is a normal part of the way that children interact with each other, and a wise adult allows a certain amount of disorder to go on so that the children can learn to deal with their own problems in their own ways. But if the quarreling becomes so extensive that the children cannot possibly control it, then it is necessary for the adult to step in, make some judgments, and restore order. The essential point of this illustration is that we understand that both letting the quarreling go on at first, and later stepping in, are actions representing the adult’s great love for the children, but that love is showing itself in different ways under different circumstances. And so the Lord’s great love for the human race shows itself to us in different ways under different circumstances.

The fourth doctrinal point is that the Lord came into the world to glorify His Human. This is very important because unless we remember this point we can get a very negative feeling about Easter, that all the Lord did was to come to repair the mistakes that we had made.

In fact, from the very beginning, the Lord had foreseen the need to have a Human through which He could communicate with the church on earth. Until He had His own human, when the Lord wished to speak to men on earth, He had to “borrow” the spiritual body of an angel. The angel would seem to himself to go to sleep, and the Lord would flow in and appear in the angel’s form. Then, when their spiritual eyes were opened, Jehovah God could present Himself to men in the world. This is the way that He spoke to Moses and the prophets.

But the Lord wished to have direct communication instead of through representatives, and so He waited until the human race had reached the natural degree, and then He took on that degree to present Himself before men in the world directly. Having taken on the natural plane, that is, a physical body, the Lord then proceeded to incorporate it into the Divine Itself in such a way that all that was evil or corrupt was put off and rejected, but that which could be purified was made Divine. The result was that He rose, unlike any other man, with that which with man rots in the grave. The Lord had acquired for Himself a spiritual body through which He could communicate with men. He no longer needed to have an intermediary angel to do this work for Him. Swedenborg was with some people who had known the Lord in the world when He appeared in the sun of heaven. They testified that the face that they saw there was that of man they had known in the world.

The fifth and final point is that all of this means nothing if we don’t use it in our daily lives, in our day-to-day dealings with others, for the universal of the Christian faith on man’s part is that he should believe on the Lord. For by believing on Him conjunction with Him is effected and this is the means of salvation. To believe on Him is to trust that He will save: and because no one can have such trust but he who lives a good life, therefore, this also is meant by believing on Him (Ibid.). In the simplest possible terms, if we say we believe something, but we do not live according to it, then we don’t really believe it.

Of course, that is the real purpose of His resurrection; that by maintaining a state of spiritual order and equilibrium He creates a sphere in which each of us is free to do what we think is best. He has fought with the hells and brought them under control so that they cannot infest our minds unless we specifically invite them to. He has taught us by word and example what kind of life we ought to live. He has provided us with every tool and opportunity that we might need. And then He patiently waits, as a friend, to see what we will do. Let us resolve, then, to live according to His principles, to be kind towards one another, to think about other people’s feelings before we act or speak, to do everything we can to use the things which He has taken such great care to provide for us. AMEN.


1st Lesson:  Mark 15:25-47

Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. {26} And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS. {27} With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. {28} So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.” {29} And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha !You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, {30} “save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” {31} Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. {32} “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him. {33} Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. {34} And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” {35} Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!” {36} Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.” {37} And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. {38} Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. {39} So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” {40} There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome, {41} who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem. {42} Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, {43} Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. {44} Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time. {45} So when he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. {46} Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. {47} And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid. Amen.

2nd Lesson:  Mark 16:1-8

Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. {2} Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. {3} And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” {4} But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away; for it was very large. {5} And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. {6} But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. {7} “But go, tell His disciples; and Peter; that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” {8} So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. Amen.

3rd Lesson: Doctrine of Faith 34

  1. The Christian Faith in its universal idea or form is this: The Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah, came into the world to subdue the bells, and to glorify His Human; and without this no mortal could have been saved; and they are saved who believe in Him.
  2. It is said “in the universal idea or form” because this is what is universal of the Faith, and what is universal of the Faith is that which must be in all things of it both in general and in particular. It is a Universal of the Faith that God is One in Person and in Essence, in whom is the Trinity, and that the Lord is that God. It is a Universal of the Faith that no mortal could have been saved unless the Lord had come into the world. It is a Universal of the Faith that He came into the world in order to remove hell from man, and He removed it combats against it and by victories over it; thus He subdued it, and reduced it into order and under obedience to Himself. It is also a Universal of the Faith that He came into the world in order to glorify the Human which He took upon Him in the world, that is, in order to unite it to the all-originating Divine (Divino a Quo); thus to eternity does He hold in order and under obedience to Himself hell subjugated by Himself. And inasmuch as neither of these mighty works could have been accomplished except by means of temptations even to the utter most of them, which was the passion of the cross, He therefore underwent this uttermost temptation. These are the Universals of the Christian Faith concerning the Lord. Amen.

Copyright © 1982 – 2008 General Church of the New Jerusalem.
Page constructed by James P. Cooper
Page last modified September 27, 2009