Summary: When we look at the Chronicles of Narnia, we see in Aslan a picture of Christ. This sermon examines five characteristics of Christ that are illustrated in Aslan.
A Dangerous Hero!
Aslan is on the move!
Of all the beasts in the animal kingdom, none has captured as grand a place in most people’s imagination as the lion. Even the scriptures use lions to portray very powerful images:
STRONG - "…What is stronger than a lion?" – Judges 14:18 NIV
COURAGEOUS - “…the bravest soldier, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, …” 2 Samuel 17:10 NIV
FEROCIOUS - “…Like a lion they crouch and lie down, like a lioness - who dares to rouse them?” Numbers 24:9a NIV
STEALTH - Lamentations 3:10 – “…like a lion in hiding” NIV
“… like a lion in cover; he lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.” Psalm 10:9 CEV
[thanks to David Sulcer for this intro, The Bearing of a Lion, sermoncentral.com]
Gene Veith says, “Lions … are also awe-inspiring. Their strength, their dignity, their ferocity fill us with wonder and admiration. These qualities are “kingly.” The animal itself evokes feelings that make it a worthy symbol for authority and majesty.” (Gene Veith, The Soul of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, p. 71.)
But, in our day, many have grown up having a slightly different picture of lions:
• Born Free – for me this 1960 book gave me a love for lions, but planted some ideas about lions that were rather different than the ferocious beasts they truly are.
• The Lion King – Hakuna Matata
But, make no mistake, Aslan is not a tame lion!
Aslan – the name comes from the Arabian Nights and is the Persian word for Lion.
The Bible itself uses the lion as a symbol for Christ
Revelation 5:5 - Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
So, when we look at the Chronicles of Narnia, we see in Aslan a picture of Christ. And in many ways, a rather accurate picture of him.
There are five characteristics of Christ that come out in the Narnia tales and particularly TLWW. The first is…
1. His expected coming is cause for HOPE
[Clip of the children speaking to Mr. Beaver – Aslan is on the move!]
In the early chapters of TLWW we hear this message repeated that “Aslan is on the move.” It is a message of hope. In the midst of a 100 year winter, this land that is always winter and never Christmas, the idea that “Aslan is on the move” is a statement of hope that things will not always remain the way that they are, even though this is all many have known for an entire lifetime.
The nation of Israel had gone 400 years of spiritual winter with no communication from God. But still the message burned hot in many hearts: The Messiah is coming!
Micah 5:2 (NASB) “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”
When we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate not only the advent of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but we commemorate the long and hopeful wait of our spiritual forefathers.
In the same way, we as believers in this age live with the hope of our Savior’s second advent. We live in the light of His promised return when
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)
This verse is embodied in the 11the point of our doctrinal statement which says:
We believe in the personal premillennial and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this "Blessed Hope" has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.
… a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.
Hebrews 6:19 (NIV) [context: God will fulfill His promise] 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
Titus 2:13 (NIV) 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
As believers in Jesus Christ we are called to live out this hope, holding fast to the anchor of our soul with the steadfast assurance that Jesus will keep His promise and return for His church. And in so living, we should live pure lives that are ready and prepared for his return.