Summary: This is a sermon describing the connection between Aslan and Jesus neither are safe but both are good.
Not A Tame Lion
INTRODUCTION: Movie Clip From Second Hand Lions
A man and his pet giraffe walk into a bar and start having a few quiet drinks. As the night goes on, they get pretty drunk. The giraffe finally passes out near the pool tables and the man decides to go home. As the man is leaving, he’s approached by the barman who says, "Hey, you’re not gonna leave that lyin’ here, are ya?" "Hmph," says the man, "that’s not a lion, it’s a giraffe."
A. Most of us could probably tell the difference between a lion and a giraffe.
1. But can you tell whether a lion is good or safe?
Today we are in week two of our series on the Chronicles of Narnia “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Key Thought: The main character of these chronicles is Aslan the King of Narnia.
A. In fact Aslan is the only character that appears in all seven of the Chronicles.
In an essay concerning how the Chronicles came to be Lewis wrote “. At first I had very little idea how the story would go. But then Aslan came bounding into it. I think I had been having a good many dreams of lions about that time. Apart from that I don’t know where the lion came from or why He came. But once He was there he pulled the whole story together and soon He pulled the other six Narnia stories in after Him.
B. So today what I want to do is to ask three questions about Aslan and hopefully answer them.
It is my hope that they will not only enable you to enjoy the books but also and I believe this was Lewis’ intent, to come to know a Jesus a little better.
I. The first question is “Who is Aslan?”
A. Before we go any further I want to talk about a very subtle issue about allegory.
1. A lot of people read the Chronicles as if everything in the book is a symbol of something in our world.
2. Such as Aslan is a symbol for Christ
And while it is true that Aslan is the Christ figure of the book and if you have read the book especially the chapter where Aslan gives his life willingly to save Edmunds life, you see all of these wonderful parallels between the Jesus’ atoning death and Aslan’s sacrificial death
You don’t have to stretch it is there. The casual reader can see it.
B. But Aslan does not represent or symbolize Christ, He is Christ in Narnia.
1. In our world, God had a problem, Man’s sin and separation from Him. The solution to that problem was the incarnation, the sending of His Son Jesus to earth as a human being.
Philippians 2:6-7 Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
Or as the famous Christmas passage says
Matthew 1:23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" —which means, "God with us."
2. Narnia is another world, an imaginary world to be sure, but it is different than this our “real” world. There are talking animals and other creatures that in our world are only found in myths like fauns, and centaurs and unicorns that populate Narnia.
And just as the Son of God became a human being to save a world of human beings, so He becomes a talking animal to save a world of talking animals.
3. Now before anyone calls me out for being sacrilegious, listen to what Lewis wrote in a letter to a friend
Aslan is an invention, giving an imaginary answer to the question, “What might Christ become like, if there really were a world like Narnia and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as he actually has done in ours. (Letters of C. S. Lewis)
C. To put it as simply as possible, sometimes when we look at what is real in this worldand we have have seen or experienced it again and again, it becomes mundane, normal, routine and the importance of an event or person somehow gets by us.
For instance how many relationships that seem so strong fail in our world because in our words “it has lost it’s magic.”
1. What Lewis is inviting us to do is to look anew at Christ, Christ in a different form, not just with our minds and our intellect but with hearts and our imaginations.
It is something close to what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he was praying that they might come to know Jesus better and in verse 18 and 19 he writes