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Lessons from the Lion

Bill Lizor

I have been hooked on the The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe since I first picked up the book by C. S. Lewis. Why has one book had such an effect on my life? First of all, it is a wonderful story, a timeless saga of good vs. evil—not to mention the intrigue, deceit, epic battles, and heroic ventures. And yet, there is something deeper that draws me closer every time I read the book or now as I watch the film Narnia. In addition to being a phenomenal story, it is an allegory for the gospel. And as I sit in a dark theater at midnight to watch the movie premiere, I am transported to the magical land of Narnia, where I am confronted by my own journey of faith.

narnia_witch3 insideEnticement of Sin

After entering Narnia to look for his sister Lucy, Edmund is caught up in the gaze of the White Witch. Despite her sweet tone and warm embrace, she is sinister. She promises Edmund power and authority as the future King of Narnia. Then she offers him anything he desires to eat; and being a child, Edmund chooses an unending supply of his favorite sweet, Turkish delight. The candy and promises of power lead Edmund to betray his family by giving the White Witch secret information.

Edmund’s encounter with the White Witch is a perfect example of sin in our lives. Sin comes wrapped in appealing packages and tastes deceptively delicious. Before we come to our senses, we’ve already given in to temptation, made all the wrong decisions, and fallen deeper than we could have imagined.

Sacrifice and Redemption

Entangled in a web of selfishness and deceit, Edmund becomes indebted to the White Witch. He has betrayed his family and the citizens of Narnia; and the White Witch plans to kill him, for the laws of the land allow her to execute anyone who is a traitor. Enter Aslan, the lion who is the true ruler of Narnia. Because of his dedication to an ancient prophecy and his love for Edmund, Peter, Susan, and Lucy, Aslan offers himself to the witch as a sacrifice in Edmund’s place.

narnia_3kids 2 insideOur situation is similar to Edmund’s. Because of our bad decisions and our fondness for sin, we are indebted to the powers of this world, to evil, and we are separated from God. Christ offered himself as a sacrifice for us and endured death in our place. Like Edmund, we have now been set free.

One of the most beautiful moments in the film happens in the heat of battle between the White Witch and an army of Aslan’s followers. Peter, Edmund’s older brother, is fighting the White Witch and is about to be killed. Courageously, Edmund draws his sword, runs to Peter’s rescue, and is severely wounded in the process. Out of the overflow of forgiveness and compassion he has received, Edmund is now willing to sacrifice his life for the person he once betrayed.

 

DIG DEEPER

In what ways are you like Edmund? When have you been enticed by sin? How do you respond to Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf? Are you willing to make sacrifices to benefit other people?

narnia_aslanrock 2

 

Bill Lizor lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee, where he'll gladly challenge anyone to a round of putt-putt or a game of LaserQuest.

—from devozine (May/June 2006). Copyright © 2006 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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