Four children stumble into a magical world where animals talk, the snow queen doesn’t sing, and hairy legs count as pants (at least if you’re Mr. Tumnus).
If you’ve never read The Chronicles of Narnia series as an adult, you are missing out. Like seriously missing out. Like the kind of missing out where you spend all day inside only to later discover that outside, on the very same day, a massive sea of bacon had fallen from the sky.
I loved these books so much that I used to read them aloud to my roommates in college. Eventually my neighbors started sitting in. Soon I started holding weekly Narnia readings on Sunday afternoons while people took naps on the floor. Students came from miles around just to listen to my golden voice. (Not really, but by the time I got through all the books, I was by far the most well known Narnia-reader in southern Provo.)
But hey, let’s talk about the movie:
Walden Media (the ones behind other inspiring films like Amazing Grace) acquired the rights to The Chronicles of Narnia back in 2001. They co-produced the film with Disney and it was a huge success.
The lion, Aslan, is voiced by Liam Neeson — try not to think about how this was the same cold-hearted ninja-assassin who tried to poison Gotham City’s water supply the very same year.
OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: Did I mention I love these books? In fact, if C.S. Lewis were alive today, and I got to meet him in person, I would probably hug the man. For a long time. Like until it got really awkward. And then I would apologize profusely for being overzealous. And then he would say it was alright if I promised never to do that again. And then I’d say ok, let’s be best friends. And then we’d live next door to each other, and our wives would be best friends too, and our kids would play together, and he’d come over and read us stories in his golden voice. And then we’d feast on bacon that fell from the sky…
C.S. Lewis once said, “At first I had very little idea how the story would go. But then suddenly Aslan came bounding into it. I think I had been having a good many dreams of lions about that time. Apart from that, I don’t know where the Lion came from or why he came. But once he was there, he pulled the whole story together.”
This brings us to the most important scene in the movie. Before going on, you should watch it:
This story, of course, is an allegory of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. As you saw in the clip above, Aslan sacrifices himself in behalf of Edmund, a traitor who belongs to the posterity of Adam and Eve.
Aslan is executed on the Stone Table, which cracks when he is resurrected, just as the law once engraved upon the stone tablets of Moses was overthrown when Jesus Christ’s Atonement enabled a higher law that satisfied both justice and mercy.
Taunting Aslan in his darkest hour, the white witch, who had ruled in his absence, whispers, “Did you honestly think by all this that you could save the human traitor? You are giving me your life and saving no one.”
However, when Aslan rises from death, he tells the women who are first to see him, “If the witch knew the true meaning of sacrifice, she might have interpreted the deep magic differently — that when a willing victim who has committed no treachery is killed in a traitor’s stead, the stone table will crack, and even death itself would turn backwards.”
Such an infinite Atonement required an infinite Being. And since Jesus Christ was the sinless Son of God, it was He who wielded the priesthood power of resurrection.
On this Easter Sunday, may we remember that because of Him, all the “sons of Adam and daughters of Eve” will be resurrected, and that because of Him, all are given the chance to become kings and queens, priests and priestesses, and that because of Him, death is not the end, but the beginning.
“Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed…” – Revelation 5:5