Summary: Advent Lessons based on the release of the movie: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Today is the 3rd Sunday of Advent ~
1) On the FIRST SUNDAY we ENCOUNTERED THE POWER OF THE LION and saw that the Lion of Judah who was PREDICTED in the OT is also Lamb of God who was slain for our sins!
As we light the PROMISE CANDLE we are reminded that Jesus is NOT SAFE – BUT HE IS GOOD – AND HE IS WORTHY of OUR WORSHIP!
2) On the SECOND SUNDAY we ENCOUNTERED THE POWER OF THE WITCH and saw that the best way to be prepared for the Coming of Christ is by living a pure life – one that knows how to resist the temptation of “Turkish Delight”! We saw why sin is so tempting and why God allows us to be tempted – even though He Himself tempts no one!
As we light the PREPARATION CANDLE we are reminded that GOD’S GRACE IS GREATER THAN OUR SIN and HIS GRACE ENABLES US to say NO to sin EVEN WHEN WE FEEL like saying YES!
3) Today is the THIRD SUNDAY and we will ENCOUNTER THE POWER OF THE WARDROBE
Later we will light the PROCLAMATION CANDLE!
This morning I want us to see WHAT the WARDROBE represents and HOW to open the door to our own spiritual journey!
I. The Wardrobe Is a Picture of Our SPIRITUAL JOURNEY to Knowing Jesus Christ – the True Lion King!
At first I thought that the wardrobe was a picture of salvation, but the more I thought about it, I realized that it is really a picture of a entering into a spiritual journey
– a journey into a world where one comes face-to-face with evil – both around them and inside of them
– a journey where everyone eventually meets Aslan the true King
– a journey where one is meant to discover that Aslan is not safe but He is good and, therefore, He is worthy of our worship!
– a journey where each one must choose whether to follow Him or the White Witch!
In a very real sense the Wardrobe is a picture of the spiritual journey that C. S. Lewis himself took in real life!
ILLUST> When Lewis was 8/9 years old his mother died though they had prayed for her (The Magician’s Nephew)
• Both he and his brother, Warnie, were estranged from their father and his Anglican religion
• Hardened by the brutality he witnessed firsthand in WW1 . . .
• Lewis became an avowed Atheist, then a Naturalist, then an Idealistic Philosopher
On October 12, 1916, Lewis penned his position in a letter to Arthur Greeves: "I think that I believe in no religion. There is absolutely no proof for any of them, and from a philosophical standpoint Christianity is not even the best. All religions, i.e., all mythologies…are merely man’s own invention-Christ as much as Loki. In every age the educated and thinking [people] have stood outside [religion]."
• But along the way he was always “surprised by joy” on the journey - a joy that stirred a deep longing in his heart and opened the door of his heart to consider whether God really did exist!
• Lewis slowly came to realize that his closest friends were all Christians and the books that had most impacted his soul were all written by Christians!
• On December 21, 1929, Lewis-upon reading John Bunyan’s Grace Abounding- wrote: "I…am still finding more and more the element of truth in the old beliefs [that] I feel I cannot dismiss… There must be something in it; only what?" In this pre-conversion period Lewis wrote: "I FELT AS IF I WERE A MAN OF SNOW AT LONG LAST BEGINNING TO MELT."
• Finally, in that same year Lewis was converted to THEISM. He journaled of that experience: "I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed; perhaps, that night the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England," but this conversion "was only to Theism. I knew nothing about the Incarnation."
• It was not long before he accepted Christ and became a born again Christian!
The critical change came in September of 1931. The night of September 19, Lewis walked and talked (until around 4 a.m.) with J. R. R. Tolkien (and Hugo Dyson about myth and Christianity. Hugo Dyson’s "main point was that Christianity works for the believer. The believer is put at peace and freed from his sins." )
• J. R. R. Tolkien one of closest friends who was a believer explained to his friend that the “death/resurrection” motif in all the myths of literature were so popular because they point to the historical truth of Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection!
On September 28, 1931, at age thirty-two, Lewis was "riding to the Whipsnade zoo in the sidecar of Warren’s motorcycle. ‘When we set out I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did.’" According to 1 John 5:1,5 all those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God are "born of God."