Summary: This focuses on the confession of Aslan in the chronicles of Narnia, and the confession of Christ by Peter in the book of Luke.
Who Is Aslan?
Luke 9.18-20, 23
[begin with a dramatic reading of excerpt from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Chapter 7, “A Day With the Beavers”.]
“Who is Aslan?” asked Susan.
“Aslan?” said Mr. Beaver. “Why don’t you know? He’s the King. He is the Lord of the whole wood, but not often here you understand. Never in my time of my father’s time. But the word has reached us that he has come back. He is in Narnia at this moment. He’ll settle the White Queen all right. It is he, not you, who will save Mr. Tumnus.”
“She won’t turn him to stone too?” said Edmund. “Lord love you, Son of Adam, what a simple thing to say!” answered Mr. Beaver with a great laugh. “Turn him into stone? If she can stand on her two feet and look him in the face it’ll be the most she can do and more than I expect of her. No, no. He’ll put all to rights as it says in an old rhyme in these parts;
Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more
When he bares his teeth, winter meets it death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.
You’ll understand when you see him.” “But shall we see him?” asked Susan. “Why, Daughter of Eve, that’s what I brought you here for. I’m to lead you where you shall meet him,” said Mr. Beaver. “Is – is he a man?” asked Lucy. “Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of the Beasts? Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh!” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” “That you will dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” “Then he isn’t safe? said Lucy. “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Who is Aslan? That is the question that the children want to have answered, and I would imagine that there are some of you sitting here this morning wondering the very same question– Who is Aslan? Since this book was first released people have been asking this question- who is Aslan? Aslan is the King, is the son of the great Emperor beyond the sea, Aslan is the great lion. He isn’t safe. But he is good. He’s the King.
As you hear this description, I hope that it resounds in your head, that you hear some familiarity to the description. When we look at the character of Aslan, we should clearly see a picture of Jesus Christ, and that brings us back to the question– who is this man we call Jesus. How do we understand Him?
As we continue our journey through Advent towards Christmas, we have lit the second candle of Advent, the candle of Love, this morning, but for us to understand love, for us to experience Christmas, we must answer the question who is Aslan, who is Jesus?
Jesus calls all of us to answer this question. In what is known as Peter’s confession of Christ, there is a call for us all to make a confession similar to that of Mr. Beaver.
Luke 9.18-20, 23
II. What Are Others Saying?
Jesus first ask the disciples who do other people say that I am? The disciples answer that some say he is John, some say he is Elijah or one of the prophets. What many of the people of that time were saying was that Jesus was the forerunner. They were seeing Jesus in the role that we attribute to John the Baptist. In our time there are people that call Jesus all sorts of things. Many would like to refer to him as a moral teacher, a religious teacher. That he is a member of a religious Hall of Fame, but they are not willing to set him up as unique. They are content for him to be a great prophet.
C.S. Lewis in another of his books, Mere Christianity says, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic or the devil of Hell. You must make the choice. Either this man was and is the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him, and kill him as a demon: or you can fall at His feet and call him Lord and God.”