Aslan is on the move
The film depicting C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ hit the cinemas this Christmas, I enjoyed the film very much. In this particular Chronicle, the author clearly wanted to portray some ideas related to his Christian faith, but the book and film can (r)stand on it’s own, whether this is understood or not. Knowing the subtext though, gives added dimension to a wonderful journey of imagination . . .

Narnia is a world which Aslan the Great Lion made. But right at the beginning of that world, two human children unwittingly let the Witch in. (You have to read the first Chronicle for that). As a result, Narnia eventually falls completely under her spell as her evil reign brings about a cruel and constant winter upon all. She even turns her enemies to stone. When four unsuspecting children find their way into Narnia (through the wardrobe) they find that they must take their place in prophecy to deliver Narnia from the evil queen. However Edmund, one of the children, eats the Witch’s magical food and thus becomes one of hers. To eat her food is to fall under her power and serve her.

Then we hear the news that the great lion Aslan is on the move. He and all Narnia know the prophecy that when “two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve sit on the four thrones” destined for them, then the Witch’s power will be broken and Narnia will be set free. But with the failure of Edmund, it falls to Aslan, to come up with a solution. He proposes to die in the place of Edmund on the stone table, a place of ritual sacrifice and importance. The Witch gloats over this unexpected fortune, for now she gets to humiliate Aslan and then kill him, while still planning to kill Edmund anyway.

The great turning point in the story though, is that Aslan knows the ‘deep magic’ which is unknown even to the Witch. The deep magic says that if a good and perfect creature dies in the place of an evil one, then even death itself will be broken and he shall return to life. It’s just that no body has ever tested this law. 

Well, Aslan does die and then comes back to life, and he, together with the children and all Narnia battle with the Witch for freedom. Aslan also raises back to life all the creatures the Witch had turned to stone by breathing on them. Finally, Aslan and his good forces beat the Witch and her evil forces and the children take their destiny on the thrones of the the kingdom. Narnia is free!

Well, that’s the main story, but it portrays (in a limited way at least) God’s dealing with our world. You see, Edmund is promised by the Witch that he will reign with her and he eats the forbidden food to do so. What he does not know is that it was a foolish mistake as it was promised long before that he should reign anyway. Satan also lied to us at the beginning, by tempting us “you shall be as gods.” We believed the lie, ate the forbidden fruit and found ourselves ruling in a fallen and corrupt world full of death, decay, war and strife. Not what we wanted at all, or what God intended. The short-cut proved to be a dead end, literally.

Aslan, the lion, is a picture of Christ, (the Lion of the Tribe of Judah) who gives his life for the fallen human Edmund, and comes back to life because death cannot hold him. Not only is Edmund saved, but all the creatures turned to stone are brought back to life too. And that is what God has done for mankind in Christ. In Him was life and He gives new life to all who call upon Him. We can be forgiven our sins, because Christ bore the death penalty for us. Now that He lives again, we can too and will do too, receiving the foretaste of that new life through God’s Spirit ‘breathed out’ into our deadened hearts.

Eventually, like Narnia, our world will conclude with a great battle, between the forces of Satan and those who practise evil, and the forces of God and His people (sinners, made right by faith in Christ, alive and resurrected). Christ will eventually triumph over evil, and just as God intended from the very beginning. The Earth, will be restored to a place of beauty and peace, in which the lion will dwell with the lamb, and man shall rule in a perfect dominion, with the Lord Himself. Despite the awful years in between, the deep promises of God will be fulfilled and no one can frustrate it. 

The question remains, what side are you on? What part will you play in this all-encompassing drama? Why settle for less now, or take the short-cut, when God’s plan is perfect in the long run? The proof of God’s plan eventually taking place was the cruel death of the Son of God on the cross, followed by the amazing fact of the resurrection and the empty tomb. 

“Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name 
which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, 
of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 
and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, 
to the glory of God the Father.” 
Philippians 2:9-11

“To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, 
as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” 
Revelation 3:21

“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, 
and I will be His God and he shall be my son.” 
Revelation 21:7
Monday, 30 January 2006
Images all belong to Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media

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