Summary: The Deeper Magic of Narnia explains the substitutionary atonement of Christ as portrayed in the book and movie, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
The Deeper Magic of Narnia
Good morning, children. Are you ready for a story from Pastor Woody?
Aslan the Lion created the Land of Narnia. It was a land of beauty and peace, but the White Witch was now ruling. How she came to power, we just don’t know. Why Aslan left the land of Narnia, we just don’t know. What we do know is that little Lucy Pevensie discovers the land of Narnia by walking into a wardrobe, a closet. She pushes past the fur coats which become fir trees and she finds herself in a wintry world where she meets Mr. Tumnus, a faun, half-man, half-goat, who tells her about the White Witch who is the Queen of Narnia.
Lucy asks, “The White Witch? Who is she?”
Mr. Tumnus answered, “Why, it is she who has got all Narnia under her thumb. It’s she who makes it always winter. Always winter and never Christmas; think of that!”
C. S. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, considered a children’s classic. His second book in the series is now a major motion picture, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It concerns the four Pevensie children who discover Narnia.
Narnia is a world inhabited by all manner of strange, talking creatures: wolves, centaurs, Minotaurs, harpies. We find great good and great evil competing for the allegiance of souls.
Edmund Pevensie, the brat, the third of the of the four children, sneaks into Narnia and meets the White Witch, who introduces herself as the Queen of Narnia. It’s cold and he’s only wearing pajamas and a housecoat, so she invites him to sit beside her in her sleigh. She wraps her fur about him and asks if he is hungry. She magically creates his favorite treat, Turkish Delight. He gobbles the whole bowlful.
"She knew, though Edmund did not, that this was enchanted Turkish Delight and that anyone who tasted it would want more and more of it, and would even, if they were allowed, to go on eating it till they killed themselves."
She sends him back to his world with the command that he return with his brother Peter and sisters, Susan and Lucy. What he doesn’t know is the prophecy that when the four humans, the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, sit on the four thrones at Pair Caravel, the Queen will be doomed. The Witch must kill at least one of the children.
He returns home through the wardrobe a changed boy. He’s been infected by lust for magic food. After eating the Turkish Delight, Edmund looked awful. He felt “sick, and sulky, and annoyed” and became “a nastier person by the minute.” The children together enter Narnia, and find a friendly Beaver who hides them from the queen. Edmund ate the Beavers’ meal “but he hadn’t really enjoyed it because he was thinking all the time about Turkish Delight—and there’s nothing that spoils the taste of good ordinary food half so much as the memory of bad magic food.”
In his book, Miracles, Lewis writes, "The slaves of the senses, after the first bait, are starved by their masters." Edmund is an addict. He cannot enjoy wholesome food. In fact, later when he leaves his brother and sisters and runs to the Queen’s castle, she imprisons him and feeds him stale bread. He refuses it even though he is ravenous. He can only think of Turkish Delight.
Lewis expresses the dilemma of the man addicted to sin in the Screwtape Letters. Screwtape says, "An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula."
Edmund’s dilemma is that of every man. Addicted to sins that never satisfy, the wholesome, gratifying pleasures of life lose their charm.
The queen rules Narnia. It is always winter and never Christmas. But Mr. Beaver tells the children that Aslan is on the move. The children have never heard of Aslan.
“Who is Aslan?” asked Susan.
"Aslan?" said Mr. Beaver. "Why, don’t you know? He’s the King. He’s the Lord of the whole wood, but not often here, you understand. Never in my time or 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…."
Then Mr. Beaver recites an old Narnian rhyme:
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 its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.
"Is—is he a man?" asked Lucy.
"Aslan a man!" Mr. Beaver said 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 Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion."