Summary: 4th in 4 part series using "The Chronicles of Narnia" as a springboard to Biblical truths about Christmas.
“BORN TO DIE”
The Chronicles of Christmas - Week 4
INTRODUCTION TO THE SERMON: (After :32 video intro)
The story is told of a 6 year old who had a new baby brother. His mother had told him that his new brother was a gift from heaven. So, one afternoon he tiptoed softly up to the crib in which his new baby brother lay. He looked at this baby intently, his eyes bright & shining. He stooped far over, leaning down over his baby brother. Finally, he whispered into one tiny red ear, "Quick, tell me about God before you forget."
You know, with our hectic schedules and the heightened commercialism, I think probably all of us, when it comes to the “real reason for the season,” could say, “Quick, tell me about Christmas, before we forget.” You see, Christmas is not just about decorations, egg nog and presents (although those things are good) and it’s also not just about the birth of Jesus. Christmas is really all about remembering the purpose for Jesus’ coming. It’s understanding that God had a grand design for this baby that would allow us the opportunity to have our sins forgiven and our futures assured.
That’s one of the reasons C.S. Lewis wrote The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Lewis reveals the purpose of Jesus through Narnia’s ultimate hero, the lion, Alsan. In fact, there are so many similarities between Aslan and Jesus that it’s almost an “in your face” representation. But Lewis wanted, through his fantasy world, to give children and adults alike the opportunity to see Jesus in a new way. A Jesus as Robin sang a moment ago, who would show us how it feels to hope and how, by facing tomorrow with Him, can learn to fly. So, this evening I want us to explore the real reason for the season. Oh, we’ll bow before the baby in Bethlehem but only long enough to see and comprehend that He became the Christ of Calvary. We’ll do that by comparing Lewis’ Aslan to Jesus seeing that their purpose was one and the same.
I. THEIR INTENTION WAS PREMEDITATED:
First, I want you to see that their intention was premeditated. What both Aslan and Jesus did was no accident, but a careful, thought out plan. First, how did they come to be?
I was watching “48 Hours Mystery” last Tuesday night on CBS. Their show that night was called “The Mystery of Christmas.” It was all about finding and looking at historical evidence for the birth of Christ. Early in the show Maureen Mauer, the host, gave this disclaimer. “While there is much documented historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived and that he died on a cross, there is little historical documented evidence for His birth.” That’s a true statement. We don’t have any birth records from Bethlehem, we don’t have any first person accounts from the shepherds or wise men. None of them wrote anything down, that we know of. But more than leading us to question Jesus’ birth I think that it speaks to God’s emphasis. He wanted us to focus more on the purpose for Jesus’ coming then He did on the entry.
Maybe that’s why C.S. Lewis in his stories has no record of Aslan’s birth. We are simply introduced to the Lion, Aslan, in the book, The Magician’s Nephew. There, Digory (the Professor in the LWW) and his friend Polly, Digory’s uncle Andrew and the White Witch come into Narnia before it has been fully created. As they stand in the dark they begin to hear a song. The song begins to transform the dark, formless world they are in, into a beautiful land. They discover that the song is being sung by a Lion. “Huge, shaggy, and bright, it stood facing the newly risen sun. It’s mouth wide open in song and it was about three hundred yards away.” (MN pg.63) The Lion is Aslan and his song creates the world of Narnia. But that is all we know. Lewis’ Aslan just appears. But you learn later that Aslan is the son of the Emperor-by-the-Sea who sent him to create this world.
Now, we know much more about Jesus’ birth than Aslan’s. Although we don’t have any historical documents we do have scriptural evidence of where and how Jesus was going to be born. God proved His Word and authenticated His Son by predicting details about the birth and life of Jesus, hundreds of years in advance that all came true. So, we know Jesus birth was planned, first of all, through prophecy. For example, the first prediction of the coming of Christ was all the way back at the beginning of time in Gen.3:15. We see it when God cursed the serpent, who was Satan, for tempting Eve. God said, "The Seed of The Woman Will Crush Your Head.. You Will Strike His Heel."(NIV) In other words, Satan was going to have a temporary victory over a descendant of Eve, which was Jesus. When did he strike Jesus’ heel? At the cross. Satan thought he had killed the Son of God but Jesus would have the ultimate victory, the one that would crush his head, defeat everything the devil had done, when Jesus arose from the dead.