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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: Aslan Saves.

Updated: Jan 14, 2022





Illustrated by Pauline Baynes

The second entry in a series of blog posts of thoughts and ideas that struck me as I read through C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia is what follows. The first entry was The Magician's Nephew: Aslan Understands, if you click on the link there, you may find encouragement reading that first post. In this posts you'll find how Aslan reminds me of Jesus the Christ in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.


The Pevensie kids are pretty remarkable, Lucy and Peter are my favorites. I enjoyed the character development and plot that flowed through this book. Edmund Pevensie, the third of the four kids, is misguided. His selfishness has caused him to team up with the White Witch, who wants to prevent the prophecy Mr. Beaver talks about in chapter 8:


"When Adam’s flesh and Adam’s bone

Sits at Cair Paravel in throne,

The evil time will be over and done."


Talking some more about the old Narnia rhyme shared above, Mr. Beaver shares later on in the same chapter:


“Down at Cair Paravel — that’s the castle on the sea coast down at the mouth of this river which ought to be the capital of the whole country if all was as it should be — down at Cair Paravel there are four thrones and it’s a saying in Narnia time out of mind that when two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve sit in those four thrones, then it will be the end not only of the White Witch’s reign but of her life..."

Edmund is blinded by his selfishness and desire to be on top so much that it was easier for the White Witch to use him, and her providing magical Turkish Delights for him to consume did not help the situation either. After the Pevensie kids meet Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, Edmund runs off when they least expect it to go find the White Witch after she assigned him a mission to report back to her when they are all in Narnia.

Trouble ensues as people who are in league with the White Witch spy, chase, and put the lives of the Beaver's and the Pevensie kids in danger. The Beaver's along with Peter, Susan, and Lucy finally make it to where they will meet Aslan, "the place of the Stone Table." Describing the first time the kids and the Beaver's saw Aslan, Lewis uses these words, "they heard a sound of music on their right; and turning in that direction they saw what they had come to see. Aslan stood in the centre of a crowd of creatures..."


So powerful, "they saw what they had come to see. Aslan..."

Does that sentence cultivate longing in your heart? It does in mine, I want to see "Aslan."


But not too long after seeing "what they had come to see," Aslan asked about the whereabouts of Edmund. Mr. Beaver answered, "He has tried to betray them and joined the White Witch, O Aslan..." Lucy later on states "Please — Aslan, can anything be done to save Edmund?” And Aslan answers with these powerful and yet heartbreaking words:


“All shall be done,” said Aslan. “But it may be harder than you think.” And then he was silent again for some time.


Those first four words strike my heart when I think of what Jesus the Christ has done for me, who is just like Edmund; one who had teamed up with the enemy of Aslan. Read them again:


“'All shall be done,' said Aslan."


One more time.


“'All shall be done,' said Aslan."


And the words Aslan shares after, "'But it may be harder than you think,'” strikes another chord in me after realizing what made it "harder."


Lucy probably thought that Aslan would march into the Witch's palace and rescue Edmund with brute strength and power.


Lucy probably thought that Aslan would just take his army and defeat the Witch's army and rescue Edmund that way.


BUT


Lucy didn't know about the "Deep Magic From the Dawn of Time." The White Witch knew and reminded Aslan that "that every traitor belongs to [her] as [her] lawful prey and that for every treachery [she has] a right to a kill.”


Lucy didn't fully understand that for every crime, someone had to make the payment that was required...


Lucy didn't understand that the consequence of "treachery" was death. And I am reminded by the Hebrew writer in chapter 9 verse 22 "that under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins."


Yeah. Your sins, my sins... necessitate payment. The "Emperor-beyond-the-Sea" has put in certain laws at the very beginning of time.


We fast forward in the narrative and Aslan takes Edmund's place instead. The Witch says these words to Aslan as he laws on the Stone Table:

"'At last she drew near. She stood by Aslan’s head. Her face was working and twitching with passion, but his looked up at the sky, still quiet, neither angry nor afraid, but a little sad. Then, just before she gave the blow, she stooped down and said in a quivering voice,

"And now, who has won? Fool, did you think that by all this you would save the human traitor? Now I will kill you instead of him as our pact was and so the Deep Magic will be appeased. But when you are dead what will prevent me from killing him as well? And who will take him out of my hand then? Understand that you have given me Narnia forever, you have lost your own life and you have not saved his. In that knowledge, despair and die.'"


Yeah, she said those words. Her words anger me.

Jesus the Christ took our place on "the Stone Table," which is the Cross and he showed us that "all shall be done," and it was harder than we could have ever imagine.


Satan thought he had the last word as he mocked Jesus the Christ on that Cross. Chapter 14 is entitled "The Triumph of the Witch" and it appeared that Satan triumphed after Jesus, the God-Man, died!


BUT!!!! Satan didn't know about the "Deeper Magic From Before The Dawn of Time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


The White Witch thought she prevented this Old Rhyme in Narnia from being fully realized:


“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.”


She didn't understand that she was actually playing a part in her own defeat when she helped place Aslan on the Stone Table. Satan didn't understand that he was playing a part in his own defeat when he helped nail Jesus to the Cross.


Lucy and Susan are right by Aslan after he dies and they see the mice chewing off the ropes that bounded his dead body. There was much commotion and they thought "something awful" was happening. Finally, they "saw what they had come to see" again...


"'Oh, Aslan!” cried both the children, staring up at him, almost as much frightened as they were glad.

“Aren’t you dead then, dear Aslan?” said Lucy.

“Not now,” said Aslan.

“You’re not — not a — ?” asked Susan in a shaky voice. She couldn’t

bring herself to say the word ghost.

Aslan stooped his golden head and licked her forehead. The warmth

of his breath and a rich sort of smell that seemed to hang about his hair came all over her.

“Do I look it?” he said.


Oh, you’re real, you’re real! Oh, Aslan!” cried Lucy, and both girls flung themselves upon him and covered him with kisses.

“But what does it all mean?” asked Susan when they were some- what calmer.


“It means,” said Aslan, “that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know: Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."


Do you see the mastery of Lewis' pen?


Yeah, my soul just jumped reading that:


"the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards!"


I am reminded of this amazing and real scene recorded for us in a different book:


"Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said..." Matthew 28:1-6


A commotion was caused by the mice. A commotion was caused by the earthquake.

There was a moment when Lucy and Susan realized Aslan was back. There was a moment when "Mary Magdalene and the other Mary" realized Jesus was back. And there was later a moment of celebration after realizing that the White Witch did not really win, Aslan did!


Oh, do you realize today that Satan did not really win, Jesus did!


Aslan saves Edmund by taking his place and dying on the Stone Table for him to conquer death after.


Jesus saves humanity by taking our place and dying on the Cross for Him to conquer death after.


What a powerful parallel.


We find that Edmund is really sorry for his treachery and lives without doing treachery again because of what Aslan did for him.


Jesus, the God-Man, has died for us and His body was raised from the dead on the third day so that we may die to our sins and live a new life through Him.

Salvation has been provided for you, it has been provided for me. Let's have a change of life as Edmund did, no more "treachery."

1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, [Jesus the Christ] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"
"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" 2 Corinthians 5:17


Read and listen to the words in this hymn that was penned by Elvina M. Hall in 1865 and later sung here by Fernando Ortega:


"I hear the Savior say,

“Thy strength indeed is small;

Child of weakness, watch and pray,

Find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all,

All to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.


Lord, now indeed I find

Thy power and Thine alone,

Can change the leper’s spots

And melt the heart of stone.

Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.


For nothing good have I

Whereby Thy grace to claim,

I’ll wash my garments white

In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.


And now complete in Him

My robe His righteousness,

I’ll rejoice with all my might,

I am now divinely blest.

Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.


And when before the throne

I stand in Him complete,

“Jesus died my soul to save,”

My lips shall still repeat.

Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow."


C. S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a great narrative that helps me see more clearly that Jesus paid it all.



Sources:


Lewis, C. S., & Baynes, P. (1994). The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. New York, NY: HarperTrophy.


All Scripture taken from the ESV.

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