Aslan and Jesus: No Greater Love
By Craig von Buseck
"You have a traitor there, Aslan," said the Witch.
Everyone present at this confrontation between Aslan and the White Witch knew that she meant Edmund. For you see, Edmund had been seduced by the White Witch with enchanted Turkish Delight, which caused one to go on eating it till they killed themselves -- or are stopped by someone. She had given him just enough to make him yearn for more, a ploy to connive Edmund into luring his brother and sisters to the Witch so that she might kill them all.
More than any other creature, the White Witch feared and hated the Sons of Adam and the Daughters of Eve; the human beings from that world of Men outside of Narnia. She was fearfully aware of the prophecy that stated:
When Adam's flesh and Adam's bone
Sits at Cair Paravel in throne,
The evil time will be over and done.
And another similar prophecy:
Down at Cair Paravel there are four thrones. 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.
The four Pevensie children unexpectedly stumbled into Narnia through the wardrobe and soon met Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. Mr. Beaver rightly discerned that Edmund had been with the evil queen before. "…he has already met the White Witch and joined her side, and been told where she lives. … the moment I set eyes on that brother of yours I said to myself, 'Treacherous.'"
And Edmund was a traitor. He went directly to the White Witch and told her the location of his brother and sisters. She immediately enslaved Edmund and set off to find and murder the other children.
Mr. and Mrs. Beaver suspected this is what the Witch would do, so they set off with the other children to find Aslan at the Stone Table. It was Mr. Beaver who first told the children about Aslan. "He's the King. He's the Lord of the whole wood. …the word has reached us that he has come back. He'll settle the White Queen all right. … He'll put all to rights as it says in an old rhyme in these parts:
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!" said Mr. Beaver 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."
After meeting with Aslan at the Stone Table, the other three Pevensie children tell him of Edmund's betrayal. Aslan dispatches a small army of centaurs, unicorns, deer and eagles to rescue Edmund from the White Witch. Edmund is taken by the creatures from the clutches of the Witch and brought before Aslan. After the great Lion restores Edmund, the boy is reunited with his siblings. "Here is your brother," Aslan declares, "and there is no need to talk to him about what is past."
Edmund tells each of them how sorry he is for how he has betrayed them. But his remorse is not enough. Soon the White Witch approaches Aslan to claim her prize.
"You know that every traitor belongs to me as my lawful prey and that for every treachery I have a right to a kill … that human creature is mine. … His blood is my property."
The queen was quite right. She had legal claim to Edmund's soul because of his treachery. But Edmund would not die for his sins. Instead, Aslan offered to lay down his life in place of the boy.
The great Lion surrendered to the Witch and her evil cohorts at the Stone Table, giving no resistance and saying not a word. They bound him with ropes so tightly that they cut into his flesh, then they shaved his body of its fur. The crowd surrounded him, kicking, hitting, spitting on him, jeering at him.
The White Witch approached the bound Lion and unsheathed her knife. Just before she gave the final blow, she said in a quivering voice, "And now, who has won? Fool, did you think that by all this you would save the human traitor? … 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."
With this, the Witch plunged the knife into his side.
We see a similar scenario in the biblical book of Isaiah:
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. (Is. 53:4-5a, NASB)
If these two stories sound familiar, it's because Aslan is Jesus. C.S. Lewis created Aslan to give us a picture of Jesus on the cross. And as the prophet Isaiah wrote more than 700 years before Christ was born, Jesus went to the cross to take the punishment for the sin of all mankind.
The prophecy of Jesus' sacrificial death continues in Isaiah 53:
He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. …But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. …And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. (Is. 53:7-8a, 10-11b, NASB)
Like Edmund in The Chronicles of Narnia, each of us has been treacherous in our heart to God. The Bible calls this sin -- it is the willful disobedience to God's law. Everyone has sinned, and is therefore subject to the penalty of that disobedience. Like Edmund, we are all under a death sentence. Someone must pay the price for our sin.
The great news is that like Aslan in the book, Jesus went to the cross to pay the penalty -- to die in our place. God did this because he loves us.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NLT)
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13, NLT)
As Aslan made the ultimate sacrifice for Edmund, Jesus died for the sins every person who has ever lived. The way to receive this free gift of salvation is to simply ask Jesus to forgive you of your sin, and to take control of your life.
You can pray this prayer right now to receive eternal life:
Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you took the pain of the cross to give me new life. I ask you to come into my life and to give me your peace and joy. I confess that I am a sinner -- that I have gone my own way and have done wrong. Please forgive me for my sins. I receive you now as my Lord and Savior. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit. Help me to follow you and to serve you all my life. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
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