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In The Chronicles of Narnia, several young children represent Christians in a world of dragons, elves, unicorns, and many other mythical creatures. One of the children is a young boy named Eustace. Eustace is a very selfish boy. He always tries to see life for how it best benefits him. What he often discovers is that selfishness more often fills him with more unhappiness than joy. In the book, The Voyage of the Dawntreader, Eustace and the other children travel on a ship to discover the unknown lands of Narnia.


After a long time of sailing, they come to an island to make some repairs. Instead of helping the others, Eustace leaves the others to do the work and goes out to explore the Island. After a long day of exploring, Eustace discovers a dragon’s lair filled with all kinds of treasures. Never in his life had he seen so many treasures. He was fearful of being in the dragon’s lair, lest the dragon return while he was looking at its treasures. Eustace looked all around but did not see any sign of the dragon. Then Eustace decided he would put on one of the jewel studded bracelets he found among the treasures. Because he had spent so much energy exploring, Eustace became tired. So he lay down to take a nap and fell asleep.


Sometime later, Eustace awoke. To his horror, as he opened his eyes, he noticed lying next to him was the dragon! There it was -- the huge terrible beast. The devil himself, lay next to him. He could feel the rough dragon’s skin rubbing against him. At first he thought the dragon must have come in while he was sleeping. Was the dragon waiting to kill him and eat him later? Did he not notice Eustace sleeping on his treasure?


Eustace was afraid to get up, lest he disturb the brute beast and the dragon eat him alive. So he lay there a long time, not moving at all. Yet he realized that eventually he would need to escape. So he slowly lifted his arm. Yet as soon as he moved his arm, the beast also moved his arm, mimicking his movement. Eustace moved his leg, and the dragon moved his leg as well. It took a few minutes for Eustace to realize what had happened. Eustace wasn’t lying with the dragon. Eustace had become the dragon. His greed had made him what he was, a sinful, selfish beast. He had become the dragon, the very thing he feared.


Finally in desperation, Eustace got up and ran out of the cave. Down from the cave was a pond. Eustace ran to the water and looked down. There in the water he could see his image. He stared, looking at the image of the beast he had become. Eustace knew this had to be a mistake. He went over and grabbed a rock and began to try to tear the dragon skin off. Yet when he tore off the rough skin, there under it was still another layer of dragon skin. No matter what he tried to do, Eustace could not remove the skin of the brute beast he had become.


When sin entered our lives, we became brute beasts of sin. Our nature was changed. We no longer were free to have God’s nature. We took on the devil’s nature. We became dragons, with hearts that served self, instead of God. We were marred and ruined in our souls. And try as hard as we may, there was nothing we could do that would give us a cure for our fallen condition.

Eustace did find healing, though. He did find a cure. It was not a cure he could provide for himself, but he did find it. He found the cure in the Lion named Aslan. Aslan, The Great Lion, represents Christ in The Chronicles of Narnia series. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Lewis shows Christ’s sacrifice through the sacrificial death of the Lion on a stone altar. Through his death, the Lion defeated the witch, who represented the devil. Aslan came to life again and set free those who had been held under the power of the evil one.


For Eustace to discover his cure from sin, he had to submit his life to Aslan — the great Lion. He could no longer be full of himself. Now Eustace had to surrender self to the Savior. The only way he could be rid of the dragon skin was to lay still and let Aslan do his work. Describing what the great lion did, Eustace told a friend, “The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off.”


Eustace had tried to take away his dragon nature by himself, but it didn’t work. The only thing that did work was the piercing claw that tore away everything of his old nature. It was this painful cleansing that allowed him to be transformed into the new nature which God designed and desired for him.

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