New Church Life March/April 2017 - Page 25

What the Lord Actually Accomplished by His Incarnation The Rev. Michael D. Gladish (Note: This was originally presented as a doctrinal class in Mitchellville, Maryland, shortly before Christmas. It has been modified by the author for the Easter season.) C elebration of the Lord’s resurrection presents an excellent opportunity to reflect on the whole purpose of the incarnation, and what the Lord actually accomplished – for us and for Himself – in that process. And there’s hardly a better place to begin than with Arcana Coelestia 2034, where we read: After everything celestial with man perished, that is, all love to God, so that as a result the will for what is good existed no longer, the human race was separated from the Divine. For nothing other than love effects conjunction, and when love has been reduced to nothing, disjunction has taken place. And when the latter has taken place destruction and annihilation follow. At that point therefore a promise was given concerning the Lord’s Coming into the world, who was to unite the Human to the Divine, and by means of this union was to join [to the Divine] the human race that was abiding in Himself through faith grounded in love and charity. From the time of that first promise given in Genesis 3:15, this kind of faith in the Lord who was to come was conjunctive. But once faith springing from love did not remain any more in the world the Lord came and united the Human Essence to the Divine Essence so that these were completely one, as He Himself states explicitly. At the same time He taught the way of truth to the effect that everyone who believed in Him, that is, who would love Him and what was His, and who would abide in His love, which is a love directed toward the entire human race and so toward the neighbor, would be conjoined and thus saved. Once the Human had been made Divine, and the Divine made Human in the Lord, an influx of the Infinite, or the Supreme Divine, took place with man which could not possibly have manifested itself in any other way. Also by means of that influx the dreadful false persuasions and the dreadful desires for evil were dispersed with which the world of spirits had been filled and was constantly being filled by souls streaming into it from the world; and those who were actuated by such persuasions 91