March 18, 2016

Preparation for the Passion

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
By a "garment" in general is signified all that which clothes something else, thus whatever is relatively exterior. Consequently the external or natural man is called a "garment" relatively to the internal or spiritual man. In like manner truth is called a "garment" relatively to good, because truth clothes good; so likewise is memory-truth relatively to the truth of faith, which is of the internal man. The sensuous, which is the ultimate of life with man, is a "garment" relatively to memory-truth. ("garments" denote lower things which cover higher ones, or what is the same, exterior things which cover interior ones - in general that they denote truths - they denote memory-truths, also sensuous truths; and the sensuous is the ultimate of life with man and is in fallacies)

That "garments" denote truths, originates from the representatives in the other life, where angels and spirits appear clothed in garments according to the states of faith or of truth in which they are; and their garments vary according to the changes of this state. Those who are in genuine truth appear clothed in white garments, and those who are in truths derived from good in shining garments; but those who are solely in good, as are the angels of the inmost heaven, who are called celestial, appear without clothing. From this then it is that garments denote truths, and that by "garments" in the Word are signified truths -

When Jesus drew nigh unto Jerusalem they brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their garments, and set Him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; but others cut branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way (Matt. 21:1, 7, 8);
to ride on an ass and her colt was a representative of the highest judge and king, as is also evident from what goes before in verse 5:
Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass and upon a colt, the son of a beast of burden (Matt. 21:5; see also Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-15).
In Zechariah 9:9 it is said of the Lord that He "was riding upon an ass, even upon a young ass, the son of she-asses," and He is there called a "King;" and it is added that "His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth." That the highest judge rode upon a she-ass, and his sons upon young asses, maybe seen in Judges 5:9, 10; 10:3, 4; 12:14; and that the king rode upon a she-mule, and the sons of the king upon mules, in 1 Kings 1:33, 38, 44, 45, and in 2 Sam. 13:29.

By the disciples putting their garments on the ass and her colt, was represented that truths in the whole complex were submitted to the Lord as the Highest Judge and King; for the disciples represented the church of the Lord in respect to its truths and goods, and their garments represented the truths themselves.  The like was represented by the multitude strewing their garments in the way, and also branches of trees. The reason why they strewed them in the way was that by "a way" is signified the truth whereby the man of the church is led. The reason why they strewed branches of trees, was that trees signified the perceptions and also the knowledges of truth and good, consequently "the branches" denote the truths themselves. This was done also in conformity with a customary rite; for when the highest judges and kings rode in their solemn procession, the princes of the people then put their garments on the asses and mules, and the people themselves strewed their garments on the way, or in their place the branches of trees; for the judicial function in heaven is the Divine truth from the Divine good, and the regal one is the Divine truth.

... in every detail there was an internal sense, to the intent that by means of the Word heaven might be conjoined with the world; for without the Word there is no conjunction, that is, without revealed Divine truth; and if there is no conjunction, the human race perishes.

(Arcana Coelestia 9212:2,3;5,6;8)