Lessons from Narnia

Tonight, my family and I went to watch a drama performance of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  It was done by a group of kids middle school aged.  Because they had such a large cast they split up the roles of the witch, the four Pevensie children and the dwarves.  Everyone did a great job and I was moved all over again by the allegory and by the history behind it.

C.S. Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia series to show the message of Christ and portray the Christian worldview.  It’s an excellent seven book series that I highly recommend you read or listen to whenever you get the chance.  Even though it’s a children’s series, it’s message speaks to adults as well as children.

(SPOILER ALERT)

The four children, Peter, Susan, Edmond, and Lucy move out to the English countryside in an old mansion owned by a professor to escape the London bombs during World War II.  Lucy, the youngest, is exploring one day and she finds a wardrobe that leads her into the world of Narnia.  Later on, they are all forced to hide in the wardrobe when the housekeeper leads a tour around the home.  She had previously told them to stay out of her way and to stay out of sight when she gave tours.

The rest of the story follows them through Narnia.  It spans at least twenty years (if not more).  Edmond had also found Narnia (quite by accident) and met the White Witch.  She tempted him with Turkish Delight (his favorite sweet) and he agreed to bring his siblings to her.  He did not know her true intent of killing them all, he thought she was simply a strict but kind queen.

He escapes the group when they all find Narnia for the first time as a group, and goes to tell the White Witch where his siblings are.  He betrays them, and only afterwords realizes his awful decision.  But by then it is too late to take anything he said back.  What’s done is done.

A group of creatures following Aslan, the good ruler of Narnia, manage to rescue Edmond.  They just save him in the nick of time from an untimely beheading by the White Witch’s dagger.

It’s at this point in the story that it feels as though everything is going to turn out into a happy ending.  All of them are together, and Aslan is with them.  But, there is a land of the law that the White Witch reminds Aslan of (as if he needed reminding).

Every traitor belongs to the White Witch, and she is to kill that person on the stone table.  If a traitor is ever held back from her, the entire world will be destroyed with fire and water.

It is a law set down when the world of Narnia was created.  Aslan acknowledges the law, and makes a deal with the White Witch.  Unbeknownst to the children, who are very worried for the safety of their brother, Aslan trades his own life for that of Edmond.  He agrees to go in the place of the boy to fulfill the law.

The White Witch has a party with her minions and she beats, mocks, and humiliates Aslan before finally driving her dagger into his heart.  The great lion is dead.  She heads out cheering, leaving behind a hidden Susan and Lucy (who had followed Aslan at a distance).

Completely distraught, Susan and Lucy come out of the bushes and weep over Aslan’s body.  Finally resigning themselves to his death, they turn to head back to the encampment and tell the awful news to the others.  Suddenly (вдруг), a large cracking sound breaks the stillness of the morning.  Running back to the stone table, the girls discover Aslan’s body is gone!

From off to the side, Aslan walks majestically out and greets the girls.  He is alive!!  Shocked, they ask if he is real or only a ghost.  He roars and lets them touch him to prove his realness.  Speechless, they listen as he tells of an even deeper law than the one the White Witch spoke of.

If an innocent person dies for a traitor, the stone will be broken and death will begin to work backwards.  

I’ll leave off from the story now, and let you read the book to find out what happens to the children, Aslan, and the White Witch.

But what I’m after, are the very strong allegories to a historic event that happened about two-thousand years ago.  Jesus Christ came to earth and took on a human body.  He, like Aslan, was around during the creation of the world, in fact He spoke it into being. (1 John 1:1-3)

As His creatures, humans were made in God’s image.  But we rebelled.  We were traitors to God and we listened to the enemy.  According to God’s laws, any sin requires death of the perpetrator.  That is like the law of Narnia.  Blood is required to pay for the transgression (sin).

But that is where Christ stepped in and took the punishment that we deserved.  Just as Edmond fully deserved death, we too deserve death.  However, Christ (and Aslan) took all of our punishment and died in our place so that we might live forever and have a close relationship with God.

The best news, however, isn’t only the death in our place on the cross, but the resurrection that happened three days (by Jewish reckoning) later!!  Christ rose from the dead and proved that He defeated the power of death and sin over us (read the book of Romans).

Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we can believe, trust, and hope in Him as our savior.  Just like Narnia, He has defeated evil and saved His people from an eternal separation from God.

That being said, I hope you will read the real historic story of Jesus in one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) and then afterwords read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  And while you’re there, you should also pick up his book Mere Christianity.  It explains the basic beliefs we hold in a clear and concise way.

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