Summary: The Lion from Narnia and the Lion of Judah roar with a holy, loving, and winning roar.
“The Lion’s Roar”
Lessons from Narnia
FCC – November 20, 2005
Introduction: Today we are going to start a 3 week sermon series introducing Narnia. We are preaching these sermons in preparation for the release of the movie, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” a classic allegory by C. S. Lewis. C. S. Lewis is considered one of the greatest Christian thinkers of our century and wrote the Narnia fantasy series that has sold more than 85 million books in 29 different languages.
The Chronicles of Narnia is a 7 book series that follows the adventure of some English children who discover another world—the magical land of Narnia. The story of the first book in the series, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” goes something like this: Four children, Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund discover Narnia through a special wardrobe. They discover a new land filled with talking animals…the land is under the White Witch’s spell. In this land, it is “always winter and never Christmas.” The redemption of Narnia is prophesied and it corresponds with the arrival of the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve…this was the sign that Aslan was near.
One of the children, Edmund, falls under the White Witch’s spell and is sentenced to death by the Witch. The only hope for Edmund and Narnia is Aslan the great Lion. Aslan lays down His life for Edmund, dying in his place. Aslan is then resurrected and His resurrection breaks the power of sin and death in Narnia, and the children lead an army to defeat the evil Witch and restore Narnia to a new golden age.
Near the end of the series, Aslan tells the children that they would have to return to their world, and they are devastated:
“’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.’”
It is for this reason that I get excited about a movie…and will take some preaching time to interpret this classic allegory that is coming to the big screen. The redemption of Narnia and the end of the White Witch was prophesied:
Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be know more
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again (Chapter 8).
By the way, Aslan is Turkish for Lion. He roars in the land of Narnia. In the same way, the metaphor of lion is used all through Scripture to describe God and His roar makes the nations tremble. Hosea 11: 10 says:
They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west.
I believe that the Lord would have us revisit this classic tale of Narnia to reawaken the truths of Scripture fresh and anew. I believe that those of us who have grown apathetic, indifferent to the power of the gospel, or have taken the story of Jesus for granted, need to hear “The Lion’s Roar” this morning. How does the lion roar?…First he roars with…
1. A HOLY ROAR. In C. S. Lewis’ story, the children spend a day in Narnia with the talking beavers. They learn more about the land of Narnia. They learn that the land is under a magic spell by the White Witch, but things are changing…Mr. Beaver says, “The say Aslan is on the move-perhaps he has already landed.”
“And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different…At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in his inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer. (Chapter 7)”
At the very name of Aslan each of the children’s heart’s started pounding and they all felt different. Job’s friend Elihu describes God this way in Job 37:1-5 (NIV): "At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place. Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth. He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth. After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice. When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back. God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.”