Summary: Jesus, our Aslan, has overcome.
“See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.”
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
C.S. Lewis published the first installment of his "Chronicles of Narnia" the year I was born. I didn’t even know about them until years after he passed away (the same day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, in case you haven’t heard). When I did begin to read them I was frankly a little bored at first.
I was, after all, an adult and this read as a children’s yarn.
Then Lucy’s hand felt ‘something soft and powdery and extremely cold” and I was hooked.
I was more than hooked. I was awakened. Not that I wasn’t already a Christian; I was.
I was a student of Theology. I was a ‘follow the cold rules’ kind of Christian, trudging along under the weight of a sincere but joyless religion.
Lewis taught me to believe in magic again.
I know Christians these days cringe just a little at that word. Maybe more than a little. But one of Webster’s definitions is ‘an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source’. And that fits my King just swell.
Bible students of the centuries, when coming to this mysterious letter called The Revelation to John, have stretched their power of imagination to a mind-snapping limit trying to get a sense of what the Apostle was experiencing as he received these visions.
There have been movies, books, many of them bad, and some pretty bad sermons also, trying to explain things that I really don’t think God intended us to try to explain when He gave John this information to pass on.
Personally, when we’re all finally gathered there when ‘the term is over, the holidays have begun’ (from “The Last Battle”), I think we’ll all get some pretty good chuckles thinking back on speculations we made and heard made in reference to the book of Revelation.
But there is something early on that is made very clear and there’s nothing symbolic or veiled about it.
Our King, our Aslan, has overcome. Fought, the fight, the battle won.
“Always winter and never Christmas; think of that!” - Mr. Tumnus
Let’s take our story back to the beginning to get the full picture.
If you were to ask any red-blooded American kid what they’d think of the most special day of the year being permanently postponed; and I word it that way because to some it’s Christmas, to some Hanukka, and so forth; I think you’d get mostly a blank stare and maybe then an expression that says, ‘What? Are you crazy?’
I mean, to a kid the coming of winter is the sign that Christmas is near. It’s the whole point!
In Narnia the evil White Witch had made it always winter but never Christmas.
By this imagery C.S. Lewis very successfully conjures up a sense of despondency and futility. Of suffering without hope of relief. Of gloom and cold with no future warmth of Spring to look forward to.
Anyone who has ever gone through a period of intense physical pain, of depressing, long-term illness, of sustained financial destitution, of cruel oppression, or any of the many ills and trials that plague mankind, knows that what gave them strength and encouragement to go on was the knowledge or at least the promise that there would be an end and that better times were ahead.
We call it light at the end of the tunnel. Help and hope lying round the next bend. Whatever; it’s just something to look forward to that’s better than what we have now.
But when a person is in the midst of these troubles if he or she has no reason to hope for change, nothing to look forward to, they think that this is all there is and it will never get better, that’s when they give up.
Friends, that is the plight of every man, woman and child of Adam’s race apart from Christ. In his letter to the Ephesians the Apostle Paul tells his readers that before they believed in Jesus they were ‘without hope and without God in the world”.
In I Thessalonians 4:13 he uses the same terminology to describe those outside of Christ, who have no hope for a resurrection.
When the serpent successfully tempted the man and the woman in the Garden sin and death were introduced into the world, bringing the winter of spiritual death to Adam’s race.
It only took one generation for man to graphically manifest the evil that was in his heart and his hatred for righteousness.
Men began early on to invent their own little gods and go their own way. Why not? They had no hope. They groped in their own spiritual darkness for some small flame to ward off the chill of an endless, merciless winter in their souls.