Aslan is on the Move
5 But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals."
6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. NKJV
The move Chronicles of Narnia has really taken off. According to Yahoo Movies it already (1/7/06) ranks 47th on the list of all time box office hits with a total of $225,703,346 in only 4 weeks. There is little doubt that it will soon surpass the latest Harry Potter movie, The Goblet of Fire.
What is it that makes an old story written 55 years ago make such a good movie. Well the technical advances needed to make a movie out of a fantasy with such characters as in the Chronicles of Narnia was not possible until the last few years.
But what makes this such a great story? C.S. Lewis was a personal friend with J.R.R. Tolkein. They both had a desire to write good children’s books. Lewis was a literary genius. But it has continually been the underlying themes of these writers books that have caught the attention of a new generation. Tolkein and Lewis did more than write good books they wrote books that had divine themes. This morning I want to look at the passage in Revelation and show how Lewis incorporated that into his immortal “Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”.
I. A Seeming Hopeless Situation.
A. In the Revelation John sees a great scroll on which is written the answer to our deepest questions.
1. But no one was found who was good enough to open the seals and open the book.
2. John begins to weep for there seems to be no hope, no solution to man’s sin and suffering.
B. In Lewis’ book he sets up the same situation.
1. In the land of Narnia, Edmond falls prey to the wicked witch who claims rule over all of Narnia.
2. Although quite beautiful, the White Witch has a very perceptible evilness about her.
3. She has claimed all Narnia as hers and rules everyone or turns them to stone (which represents death).
4. Everyone lives in fear of her and many have thrown in their lot with her.
5. Edmond on his first visit to the land of Narnia becomes a traitor, even betraying his own brother and sisters for the empty promises of the Witch.
6. Even after Edmond finds out the truth he is held against his will.
7. Finally when Edmond is rescued you find the hopelessness of the situation.
8. For although he has been stolen away from the witch’s possession, yet he is not free from the witch’s power.
9. For the witch knows the hidden magic written in stone, that all traitors belong to her and their blood is hers.
10. Edmond’s siblings plead for him but to no avail.
11. Yet in the movie and deal is struck between the White Witch and Aslan of which no one understands except Aslan.
II. The Power of the Lion.
A. John’s reference to the Lion goes back to the final chapter in Genesis.
1. There Jacob as he is dying foretells the future of each of his children.
a. In reference to Judah, his third oldest he says. “Judah is a lion's whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion ; And as a lion , who shall rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; NKJV Gen 49:9-10
2. So this lion in Revelation is none other than the Lord Jesus who fulfilled that several thousand year old prophecy.
3. Everyone knows of the power of the Lion and that no animal can show the office of King more than the Lion.
B. In The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, Aslan is not immediately seen until the White Witch if fully revealed.
1. The witch has ruled Narnia for over a hundred years without opposition.
2. But you find out quickly that she is an usurper of the throne from Aslan.
3. Even she is cautious of the Lion and has a healthy respect for Him.
C. But not even the Lion has the power to deliver Edmond from the hidden magic written in stone.
1. Edmond will have to be turned over to the witch.
2. Peter and Edmond are solicited by Aslan to lead in the fight and the coming battle between the forces of Aslan and the White Witch.
III. The Hidden Magic of an Innocent Sacrifice.
A. When John turns to look at the Lion of the Tribe of Judah he sees, “in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain”
1. Now anyone knows there is a real difference between a lion and a lamb.
2. Once more there is a great difference between a lion and a slain lamb.
3. But the real victory of Jesus over Satan was in His death on the cross and His resurrection.
4. That was deeper magic than Satan knew.
a. 1 Cor 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known , they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. NKJV
b. Satan thought that he had gained the advantage, that he had destroyed the promised Messiah.
c. But he had only fulfilled God’s eternal plan, written before Time dawned.
B. Now let us look at The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe.
1. The agreement that Aslan had come to with the witch was that he the lion Aslan would die in the place of the traitor Edmond.
2. So Susan and Lucy are greatly troubled as they witness this horrible sight.
3. Aslan goes to the great stone table where Edmond would have been slain and there he surrenders himself as Edmond’s substitute.
4. He is bound with ropes and then the witch kills him with the stone knife.
5. Remember that stone in this movie represents death.
6. Then the witch and her company go off to fight with the followers of Aslan.
7. But as the morning dawns and Susan and Lucy ready themselves to leave dead Aslan and to return to their brothers, there is a great noise.
8. Turning around they see that the stone table has been destroyed and Aslan is no longer there.
9. As they run back to the stone table Aslan comes on the scene very much alive, which they girls do not know if it is himself or a ghost. And they ask what does it mean?
10. Now let me quote from the book.
a. “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 backward.”
The story concludes with Aslan setting all those free who had been changed to stone by the witch and then the destruction of the witch herself. Peter, Edmond, Susan and Lucy are made kings and queens to rule Narnia and as the saying goes, “Once a king of Narnia, always a king of Narnia.”
Rev 5:10 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth." NKJV
But I want to go back to just before the end of the story. When Lucy asks Susan if Edmond knew what Aslan had done for him. Susan thought they should not tell him lest he feel sad. But Lucy thinks they should tell him for he should know what Aslan did to save him.
Do you know what Jesus did for you to save you? I tell you even though it should make you sad. Because it gives us such a sense of appreciation to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who gave His life so that we might live.