Summary: Explore the battle Jesus fought for us, relating Aslan to Isaiah 53, as well as the battle we’re called to fight daily in Christ.
“Fight to the Finish” Is.53; 61:1-4, 12-11-05, Advent 3, Narnia 3
Give spoiler warning as children are coming forward!
Children’s Message: For those of you who have been here the last couple of weeks, you know that we’re getting ready for Christmas by thinking about a story called, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” from the Chronicles of Narnia. Today, we’re going to continue reading some of this wonderful little story. [from the Narnia “Movie Storybook” read pages 16,17,28,29,30,35,36,39, primarily dealing with Aslan’s sacrifice for Edmund. Have the pictures displayed on the screen so everyone in the congregation can follow along and have the children watch the pictures on the screen]
Did what happened to Aslan sound like anything you’ve heard before? It sounds just like what happened to Jesus, didn’t it?! And that’s what I’m going to be talking about in the sermon for today – Jesus’ willingness to die for your sins and mine and then for Him to come back to life again so we could be with Him forever. So listen for the battle this was for Jesus and for the battle that you and I are in every day of our lives which Jesus helps us fight. Pray.
Friends, you’ve heard me say it before but hear it again today in fresh context. You and I are engaged in a battle every day of our lives. This battle is no imaginary, delusional, or story book battle but it is very real – more real than any of us can even imagine. It is a battle going on in our world but in another realm – interestingly not unlike Narnia only real! – the spiritual realm, which by and large, we do not see waging around us. But make no mistake – the battle is going on.
The battle lines were actually drawn thousands of years ago. In the Garden of Eden we read in Genesis 1&2 of how the Lord God made all that we see and all that we know in this created world. Then in Genesis 3 we encounter Satan and the temptation he put before Adam and Eve, a temptation to which they fell and became separated from God. But in His parting words to Satan, the Lord spoke this to him: “I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman, and between your offspring and hers [the Messiah, God’s Son whom He would send thousands of years later]; he [Jesus] will crush your head [destroy you] and you will strike his heel.” We know that He was speaking of His Son who would come into the world when the time was right, to defeat Satan and right the wrong that Adam and Eve began in Eden and which you and I continue to struggle with every day of our lives.
In Narnia, Edmund was taken in, tempted by the White Witch, C.S. Lewis’ depiction of Satan. He was seduced by her with delicious Turkish Delight, a favorite treat of Edmund’s, and with a promise of power – “I might make you a prince, perhaps even a king in Narnia if only you’ll help me.” It was that temptation, that lie which caused Edmund to betray his brother and sisters and even Aslan, the lion, the creator and true King of Narnia. When the question is asked of Aslan by the children if there’s anything that can be done to save Edmund, Aslan replied, “All shall be done, but it may be harder than you think.” What it would take to save Edmund went beyond anything the children were thinking. Watch this next segment, where we see the children meeting Aslan for the 1st time, we see Edmund walking alone in the White Witch’s castle, and then what saving Edmund would cost Aslan. [show segment from 9-minute Supertrailer from Narniaweb.com, 5:17-6:14]
The portrayal of the event of Aslan’s death is a powerful parallel to what we hear in the prophecy about Jesus from Isaiah 53:3-7, written hundreds of years before Jesus was born – “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”