The Curse of the Witch
Introduction: Enter the magical and cursed land of Narnia.
1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
55 of us went to see the movie on opening night, and it was quite a treat. For two hours we were transported to the magical land of Narnia and saw all kinds of talking animals, an evil witch, and a Lion, who was the King. Over the next three weeks we will continue our journey through C.S. Lewis’ imagined land of Narnia and draw the parallels to the world we dwell in every day. Whether you like fantasy or not, I encourage you to be willing to travel with us all into Narnia. You will be surprised how the story of Narnia is our story.
2. Enter through the wardrobe.
During WW II four siblings are sent away from London to a mysterious old house of a retired professor. They are all children and their names are Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. Lucy the youngest discovers a wardrobe during a game of hide and seek. She enters the wardrobe and the next thing she knows she is walking in the woods in the snow! She later learns from a faun that she is in the enchanted land of Narnia, where the Faun, Mr. Tumnus, informs here that it is always winter. Later Lucy would lead her three siblings through that magical wardrobe. I ask you to come through the wardrobe into Narnia, today!
Move 1: The Witch and Narnia
Early in the story we find out that the third oldest, a little older than Lucy, Edmund is the least well mannered of the children. He ridicules Lucy about Narnia, but follows her into the wardrobe to tease her, and he, too, ends up in Narnia. This turns out to be a fateful moment for Edmund, because he does not meet a faun first, but the White Witch of Narnia herself, who claims to be the Queen.
2. The White Witch.
When Edmund enters Narnia he encounters a dwarf, and a woman pulled by reindeer on a sled. Her face is as white as the snow itself and she is tall and beautiful, but yet cold, proud, and stern. She feel threatened, because she is the self proclaimed ruler of Narnia and an ancient prophecy says that one day “two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve” will rule Narnia. She decides to destroy Edmund, but changes her mind and entices him with a magical food called Turkish Delight (concoction of sugar syrup, various flavorings, nuts and dried fruits then bound them together with mastic (gum Arabic). Once Edmund eats this food, he will always lust for more. It will enslave him to the White Witch. White does not mean good, but cold and evil. Her goal is to have Edmund betray his siblings to her that she might destroy them all and avoid the prophecy. She makes Edmund promise that he will bring his siblings to her under the pretense that she wants to make them all princes.
3. The spell on Narnia.
Throughout the book we learn a lot about the witch. She calls herself the Queen, but she is not. She is powerful enough to make it always winter and to turn her enemies into stone immediately. She also controls savage creatures to do her evil work. There is nothing good about her. She is totally evil and works for evil results in Narnia. The four children threaten her reign and she tries to kill them.
Move 2: Satan and Earth.
1. The White Witch corresponds to Satan in our world.
Satan has always tried to usurp the true ruler of the universe. Read Rev. 12:7-12.
We learn several things about Satan. He tried to overthrow God through war. He was not successful and he and his angels were thrown out of heaven. The world is cursed because of him. “He leads the whole world astray.” He knows that his days are numbered, but “he is filled with fury.” He is called the “prince of this world” by Jesus (cf. Jn. 12:31). He is called the “ruler of the kingdom of the air” (cf. Eph. 2:2). And he roams the earth “seeking whom he may devour” (cf. 1 Pet. 5:8).
2. Like the White Witch, Satan is cunning.
Remember the story in Genesis. The serpent comes to Eve. He doesn’t tell her to disobey God and eat the fruit now! He tells her what the tree will do for her. It will make her wise like God, but he also lies. He tells she will not die like God said. He speaks in half-truths. Jesus calls Satan the “father of lies,” but they are rarely obvious. Worse…you want to believe them! You have a right to get even because she had no right to do you that way. It is okay to gossip a little, as long as you don’t tell anyone else. You can lust; no one will ever know it and it is natural. Hard work is the ultimate ethic. God will understand, if you don’t as much time for his Kingdom. God wants you to be happy. Your spouse isn’t making you happy, but this other person will. Satan works through the tactic of Turkish Delight. One taste and you want more and you can justify any reason to get it.
3. The spell on earth.
His rule on earth is not lasting and simply permitted, but it is real enough. Paul summarizes what happened in the Garden in Rom. 8:19-22 (read). Why is there evil? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why are there natural disasters? Why can this world be so beautiful and tragic at the same time? Folks, are world is not as God intended. Satan has it under his spell and most of its people remain there. The question is how long will God let this go on? More later.
Move 3: Treacherous Edmund.
1. Mr. and Mrs. Beaver.
Eventually all four of the children end up in Narnia. They end up in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. There are several things that transpire in this meeting. They learn the fate of Mr. Tumnus, whom Lucy first met. He was supposed to betray Lucy to the Witch and did not and so was captured and turned to stone. The kids are determined to save him, but are told quite bluntly that they cannot. Mr. Beaver tells them, “It’s no good, Son of Adam. No good your trying, of all people. But now that Aslan is on the move—.” This is the first mention of Aslan and we will see more about him soon.
2. Edmund’s betrayal.
Also, in this meeting Edmund makes his fateful decision to betray his siblings. He doesn’t want to hear about Aslan and really can’t believe that anyone that would promise him a throne and give him Turkish Delight could be all that bad. So, he quietly slips out to go inform the White Witch, which in his gut he knows is wrong, but he can’t get his mind off the Turkish Delight. Once the others realize what has happened, they want to save Edmund, but this would lead them all into the hands of the Witch. The Beavers assure them only Aslan can save him or any of them.
Move 4: Our Treachery.
We have all eaten Turkish Delight. It is popular thing in our culture to assume that mankind is inherently good. Yet, Paul says in Rom. 2:10, quoting the prophets, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Read Rom. 1:29-32. We are all on that list. We have all eaten the Turkish Delight from Satan and have all craved more. We cannot save ourselves and others cannot save us. By taking what Satan offers,
we became enslaved to him (cf. Rom. 6…slaves to sin). Who is powerful enough to rescue us from the hand of such a powerful ruler?
Move 5: Aslan is on the move.
1. Aslan, the real King of Narnia.
Trying to comfort the children about the fate of Mr. Tumnus, Mr. Beaver says, “Aslan is on the move.” The kids have no idea why but that name brings immediate comfort and excitement. They learn that Aslan is the rightful ruler of Narnia. “He is the King, the Lord of the whole wood.” He is the “son of the Emperor-beyond-the-sea.” He is not a lion, but THE Lion. He is not safe, but he is good. The Witch is no rival power in reality. Mr. Beaver replied to Edmund’s question about whether she could turn him into stone thusly, “Lord love you, Son of Adam, what a simple thing to say! Turn him into stone? If she can stand on her two feet and look him in the face it’ll be the most she can do and more than I expect of her.”
2. Aslan, their only hope.
They don’t know why and they don’t know how, but it becomes clear that the only hope for Edmund, Mr. Tumnus and all of Narnia rests with Aslan. He is on the move and that means all wrongs will be made right. Winter will give way to spring, death to life. The White Witch is terrified and thinks her only hope is destroying the children. But to this point no one has seen Aslan and so she seems to have the upper hand. Next week, we will see if Aslan is able save all. (This still gives you a chance to see the movie or read the book!)
Move 6: Jesus Christ is on the move.
1. Aslan corresponds to Jesus Christ in our world.
Jesus is Lord of the universe, even if Satan has taken up his own throne on Earth. Yet, evil remains and people are lost. Many live life without hope, and their only chance is Jesus Christ. No other can help. Jesus Christ is always on the move. The question is, is he on the move in your life?
Illustration: Try to blow out the sun.
We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). We all stand condemned before God, unless we are saved by Christ. Josiah (my two year-old son) knows the word hot. If you say that word to him, he instantly starts blowing. He learned this from eating, of course. But if he sees the sun shining through a window, he will try to blow it out! Trying to save ourselves from the “prince of this world” and our own tragic sin is like trying to blow out the sun. It is impossible.
2. The story of redemption and victory.
Next week, we will see how Aslan does what he does, but I can’t end without saying that Jesus Christ has already defeated the devil. Yes, he still roams now, but that will end soon enough. His defeat was sealed in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. How do we escape hopelessness and despair in our lives? How are we freed from the enslavement of Satan? The answer is clear. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall have eternal life.” He has already defeated Satan. You simply have to accept that Jesus died for you and put your trust in Him.
This isn’t just a fairy tale. It is the story of our world. Created good by God, but fallen through the work of Satan and the choices of mankind, our world and us needed to be redeemed. The only hope any of us have is to trust the true King, Jesus Christ. He paid the price for our sins and conquered sin and death in the resurrection. He promises a new heaven and a new earth, but you must be redeemed and freed to live in it. Accept Christ as your Savior, today.