Summary: Discover how to encounter the power of Jesus Christ in your life.
This Friday, Disney pictures will be releasing “The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, a movie based on the children’s book of the same name by C.S. Lewis.
Now I know that there are quite a few of you here this morning that figure it’s a whole lot easier to just wait for the movie to come out than to actually read a book. But I’ve got bad news for those of you who fit into that category – I’m going to spoil the movie for you by giving away the ending.
The Chronicles of Narnia follows the adventures of four English children – Lucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan - who discover another world, the magical land of Narnia. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Narnia is held in bondage under the spell of the evil White Witch who has rendered it “always winter and never Christmas.” The redemption of Narnia, however, and the end of the White Witch’s reign had been prophesied. And the prophecy also spoke of the arrival of humans—“sons of Adam and daughters of Eve”—as a sign that the coming of Aslan as the rightful King was near.
Edmund is deceived by the Witch and agrees to bring his brother and sisters to the Witch. Edmund thinks he is going to become a prince, but the Witch actually intends to turn all of them to stone. He finally sees the error of his ways, but is captured and sentenced to death as a traitor by the Witch. The only hope for Edmund—and for Narnia—is the great Lion, Aslan. Aslan lays down his life for Edmund, taking Edmund’s punishment and dying in his place.
The Witch believes that with Aslan’s sacrificial death, the prophecy would be broken and her magical hold on Narnia would be complete. She was not aware of the more powerful “deeper magic” that brings Aslan back to life. His resurrection breaks the power of sin and death in Narnia, allowing him and the children to lead an army to defeat the evil Witch. The four children are then seated on four thrones as the kings and queens of Narnia
Scholars have argued for many years about whether or not these books are to be taken as spiritual allegories. Lewis did not believe that the books met the strict definition of an allegory – he called them supposals – but he left no doubt that he intended for his stories to give insight into Biblical truth. In a 1954 letter to a group of Maryland 5th graders, Lewis wrote:
I did not say to myself “Let us represent Jesus as He really is in our world by a Lion in Narnia”; I said “Let us suppose that there were a land like Narnia and that the Son of God, as He became a Man In our world, became a lion there, and then imagine what would happen.”
At the end of The Voyage of the “Dawn Trader”, Aslan tells the children that they will never come back to Narnia and the children are devastated. There is then this exchange between the children and Aslan:
“It isn’t Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy, “It’s you. We shan’t meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”
“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.
“Are—are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.
“I am,” said Aslan, “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.” (pp. 215-216)
Years ago, after reading that passage, a little girl named Hila wrote to Lewis, asking him to tell her Aslan’s other name. Lewis replied to her:
Well, I want you to guess. Has there ever been anyone in this world who
1) arrived at the same time as Father Christmas,
2) Said he was the son of the Great Emperor,
3) Gave himself up for someone else’s fault, to be jeered at and killed by wicked people,
4) Came to life again, and
5) Is sometimes spoken of as a lamb (see the end of Dawn Trader)? Don’t you really know His name in this world?
Think it over, and let me know your answer.”
There can be no doubt that the power of Aslan that the children encountered in Narnia represents the power of Jesus Christ that God wants each of us to encounter in each of our lives. In fact, although the concept of power is present throughout the Bible, it receives much more emphasis in the New Testament, where is it almost always associated with Jesus Christ.
In his letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul wrote about the power that God wants us to encounter through Jesus Christ: