by Parker, a high school student
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now...
Come further up, come further in!”
-C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
What would you do if you found out your literary hero was for real? Let me tell you that mine IS real and it might completely blow your mind. It sure blew mine. It is possible you have read one or more of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia (or maybe you plugged in a movie or two).
I have some ideas about our hero, Aslan, upon finishing the final book, The Last Battle. Those thoughts concern his followers, their faith in the truth, a higher power and evil. I'm happy to share these thoughts with YOU! Feel free to chime in the comments below this post. Now let's get started ...
1. THE HERO. Aslan of the famed stories is both self-sacrificing and gracious. Narnia had sin within, and when Aslan came to rescue them, a new Narnia was formed. The dwarfs in the story used to love 'Aslan,' the ape. However, they were deceived because Shift, an ape, dressed his donkey friend Puzzle as a lion. When they realized the folly of their belief, the dwarfs didn't want a leader anymore. They were hurt. Wouldn't you be? A deity called Tash was believed to be their "god," but he was a terrible creature and was a leader of demons. Sound familiar? I thought so. The real Aslan, however, is a reminder that my Savior, Jesus, will destroy evil and the world finally WILL be perfect.
2. THE NEMESIS. Tash is portrayed as an inauthentic and wicked being who is the reverse of Aslan. Narnians describe him as 'a god' or 'a demon;' he has a presence brings cold and the stench of death. Even while the Calormenes offer human sacrifice to Tash, a majority do not believe in him anyway. I'll bet that sounds familiar too. Tash and Satan are deceitful, horrible creatures. Tash hates and wants to destroy goodness. He envies God's (in this case, Aslan's) power but also loathes that same authority. Fortunately for us, just as Satan may seem invincible to humans, Christ protects us if we love and trust Him.
"Everything was created through him;
nothing—not one thing!—
came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out."
3. THE FOLLOWERS. And how about the dwarfs in The Last Battle? These guys are sadly similar to humans in their fragile faith. A human's hope can be delicate because it's hard for a man to submit his life to an authority figure. We know that all too well, don't we? Humans find it desirable to follow, well, themselves. The dwarfs were skeptical of Aslan because the ape, Shift, tricked them into believing a lie to gain power. This revelation is why the dwarfs felt manipulated and refused to seek the truth so as not to be fooled again. Do you relate? I would understand so, but for your sake, I hope NOT! :-)
4. THE TRUTH. So you may ask yourself, does Aslan relate to Jesus? Well, yes. As stated previously, Aslan IS Jesus. Aslan is mighty and kind like our Savior, you can see this analogy clearly, but there is a difference-that-makes-all-the-difference: Aslan is made up. Jesus is gracious and incredible. Yes, God and Aslan are similar. They are both wise and strong and generous, but C.S. Lewis wanted to help little kids to understand an essential thing: God and Aslan are not safe -- however, they are amazing and loving rulers. And, most importantly, one of them is REAL. Aslan is just a small image of Jesus. So, Lewis wrote his creative allegory that described Him in this new heaven and the new earth.
Some new readers of Narnia might also wonder how this Narnia and Earth relate to heaven. If that is you, recognize that this is a very thoughtful question. Earth and the fictional Narnia are temporary and broken creations, just like you and me. Heaven and the new Narnia are everlasting. Even the best fruit in the current world tastes terrible compared to heaven's fruit. Heaven, of course, has no sin; it is eternal and perfect. And Mr. C.S. Lewis tried to show how he understood that heaven would come to earth through the world of Narnia.
Nope, I don't know what heaven will be like exactly. Maybe it will be just like Narnia, and that would be ... well, really, really cool. What I DO know is that Jesus, my hero, YOUR hero, is there, and He is very, very real - I certainly can't wait to be with Him. And given what you know of this heaven, this New Narnia, it is exactly what you're looking for ... isn't it? I know I'm planning to go "further up and further in!" How about you?
Have YOU read the Narnia chronicles? If not you should check them out. They are very easy and quick to read. These are awesome books to get children into reading too! If reading the Narnia chronicles has inspired your relationship with the Almighty, please let us know how in the comment box on the bottom of this page. God bless!