During my last year in Bible College, I took a Literature class that focused on CS Lewis. During this class we had to read some classics like The ScrewTape Letters, Till We Have Faces, Mere Christianity, and the Chronicles of Narnia. This class was filled with tons of reading (as you can see), history and information about CS Lewis and his life and writings. Before this class, I had no clue who CS Lewis was, nor was I familiar with ANY of his writings (I never read much before college). During the progression of this class, there were many discussion, one of which was of some interest to me. “Did CS Lewis plan to make Aslan symbolize Christ in the Chronicles of Narnia”?
There are many different views out there about this. Some would say that to say Aslan represents Christ is reading too much into the story. These people would say that to read a story book and say that the characters are meant to represent something or someone is just crazy. They also say that CS Lewis didn’t even begin to understand or study Christianity until later in life, so to say Aslan represents Christ is ludicrous. On the other hand, it seems to be very clear that throughout the entire story (Chronicles of Narnia) that Aslan continually lives life (does what) Christ would/did do. While I’m not exactly sure if CS Lewis intended for Aslan to represent Jesus Christ or not, I must say that I do see how one could say that Aslan represents Jesus Christ.
One of my favorite books (well at least for life connections to spirituality) in the Chronicles of Narnia series is The Lion, the Witch & The Wardrobe. I remember this one specific scene when Susan and Lucy ask the Beavers about Aslan. I will never forget what Mr. Beaver says when they ask if Aslan is a man:
Aslan a man? Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the woods 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.”
“Ooh!” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and make no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about being safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
The last line in this has completely established for me the reality of Jesus Christ. This is a full description of Jesus (especially the last line) “He’s the King….he isn’t safe”
It is amazing how the church today (specifically in the USA) has made Jesus Christ out to be a “safe” guy. For example, when we paint pictures of Him we long haired, trimmed beard, nice smile (and teeth). We put pictures like this up in our homes, churches, and Bibles. The one that really gets me laughing is when we portray Him as a man who never gets upset or retaliates, or picks fights with others (see if you agree Mat. 12:1-4, Luke 4:28-30; 11:45-54; Jn. 2:13-17-this is just a short list). Jesus is GOOD, but Safe? I DON’T THINK SO!!!!!!!!!!
As we watch those preachers on tv we are constantly told that a life with Jesus will lead us to a safe, happy, and life that we want (Not mentioning any specific Pastors, but I’m not impressed with this type of preaching that does NOT match the Biblical example of Jesus).
Jesus does not seem to promise us comfort, safety or rewards. In fact, he says that we need to “Pick up our Cross” (Lk. 9:23). Carrying a cross is a big burden. If it was easy, they would not have needed to ask men to help Jesus carry His cross. This is God’s way of saying “Following me is hard work!”
There are a few things that I would like to point out to you from Scripture regarding the “safety” of following Jesus Christ with our lives.
If you live your life for Jesus (at work, on Facebook, on Twitter, or your blog), don’t be surprised if people get angry with you (Mt. 9:34-36)
If you are going to live for Jesus, HE (yep, Jesus) is going to want you to keep your eyes on the prize, rather than focusing on the past! (Lk. 9:6)
Following Jesus means leaving things behind for something new (Mk. 1:18)
YOUR LIFE IS ALL ABOUT HIM!!!
While all these negative things for our lives seem to get us down, we need to remember what Mr. Beaver said “Jesus is Good… He is NOT safe”
When a person chooses to commit their lives to Jesus, they are doing the right thing! They are NOT doing a safe thing!
My question for you is this: are you ready to follow Jesus with your lives, or are you going to be “safe”??????