Aslan’s Redemption

“You have a traitor there, Aslan,” said the Witch.

“Well,” said Aslan, “His offense was not against you.”

“Have you forgotten the Deep Magic?” asked the Witch?

“Let us say I have forgotten it,” answered Aslan gravely. “Tell us of this Deep Magic.”

“Tell you?” said the Witch, her voice growing suddenly shriller. “Tell you what is written on that very Table of Stone which stands beside us?  Tell you what is written in letters deep as a spear is long on the fire-stones on the Secret Hill?  Tell you what is engraved on the scepter of the Emperor-beyond-the-Sea?  You at least know the Magic which the Emperor put into Narnia at the very beginning.  You know that every traitor belongs to me as my lawful prey and that for every treachery I have a right to a kill.”

“And so,” continued the Witch, “that human creature is mine. His life is forfeit to me.  His blood is my property.”

“It is very true,” said Aslan, “I do not deny it.”

In my current rereading of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, I was struck by this passage in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

Those familiar with the story will recall that Aslan goes on to forfeit his own life in exchange for Edmund’s. However, Aslan later comes back to life…through the power of the Emperor’s older deeper magic that the Witch did not know.

What a clear illustration of our redemption through Jesus Christ!

Notice who Edmund’s accuser is…and who his defender is:

“You have a traitor there, Aslan,” said the Witch.

“Well,” said Aslan, “His offense was not against you.”

Edmund betrayed Aslan. He betrayed his own brother and sisters.  He betrayed their woodland friends.  Edmund sought out the Witch to tell her where his siblings were hiding, who was hiding them, where they were going, and where they were to meet Aslan.

Edmund became a traitor to Aslan by allying himself with the Witch.

Yet, Aslan offered Edmund forgiveness while the Witch accused him.

Lewis’ illustration is consistent with biblical teaching. The Bible calls Satan the accuser of the brethren…who accuses them before our God day and night and says Jesus Christ is our Advocate with the Father.

Realizing we have sinned against God, too often we mistakenly act as though God is angry with us, looking for any excuse to condemn us to Hell for any unconfessed sin. Yet the Bible clearly says Satan is our accuser and Jesus is our defender.  God’s position toward His children is loving concern and a desire to deliver us, rather than of angry vengeance.

Even for those who have not believed in Christ, we are told, “God demonstrates His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Like Edmund, we were all traitors. We all treacherously allied ourselves with Satan in his war against God.  Yet Jesus, in accordance with the Father’s will, died so we could be rescued from Satan’s dominion.  Even while we were still traitors against God…still allied with Satan…Christ died for us.

Why was it necessary for Aslan to be killed?

The Witch had valid legal claim over Edmund. Edmund belonged to her.  She owned him, as a slave, to do with as she pleased.

“You know that every traitor belongs to me as my lawful prey and that for every treachery I have a right to a kill.”

“And so,” continued the Witch, “that human creature is mine. His life is forfeit to me.  His blood is my property.”

“It is very true,” said Aslan, “I do not deny it.”

The Witch had valid legal claim over Edmund’s life. Aslan gave his life in exchange for Edmund’s.

Notice there was not a question of strength. The Witch knew Aslan was powerful enough to take Edmund by force.  Her claim to Edmund relied completely on legal rights for which she called on Aslan’s righteous justice.  If the situation were reversed, she would not have followed the path of justice.  Yet she relied on Aslan to be just.

So, Aslan offered his life in exchange for Edmund’s.

Aslan died to redeem Edmund from the Witch’s claim…one life exchanged for another…so Edmund would be free of the Witch’s claim…free to live a life of honor, love and justice in right relationship with the Emperor-beyond-the-Sea.

The Bible has much to say on the topic of redemption.  Today, we often use the word redeem in a rather loose manner to refer to anything good that comes from a bad situation.  However, scriptural use of the word redeem is much more specific.

In Leviticus 25, Moses gave us the Law of Redemption, in which redemption clearly refers to transfer of legal ownership being restored back to the rightful owner.  In biblical context, redemption means to justly bring about the end of a covenant of bondage by which someone or something belonging to God is being held captive.

According to Leviticus 25, right of redemption is a reserved right by the rightful owner.  When an Israelite sold land or sold themselves into servitude, they retained right of redemption…the right to cancel out the purchase contract by refunding the purchase cost.  The reason given for the right of redemption is that they belong to God.

What Aslan did for Edmund is what Jesus did for us.

Jesus gave His life in exchange for ours. Jesus died and descended into that shadow world called Sheol (Hades or Death) to redeem us from Satan’s valid legal claim over us.

I once belonged to Satan. Satan once had a legal claim over my life which the Father acknowledged to be valid.  Satan could not hold me by strength, as God is much stronger.  Rather, Satan held me by legal claim, for which he completely relied on Father’s justice.  So Jesus gave His life in exchange for mine.  Jesus redeemed me from Satan’s legal claim, so I could cease to be a slave to sin and can now walk in righteousness and love, as a child of God.

Hallelujah, what a Savior!

 

Your thoughts?

 

15 thoughts on “Aslan’s Redemption

  1. Yes! I have sometimes given a copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to someone that I was praying for to receive salvation. It’s such a wonderful explanation of what Jesus did for us on the cross! And I think you may have been the one who pointed out to me that Satan did have the legal right to say to Jesus, “All this power I will give to you and the glory of them (all the kingdoms of the world), for that has been delivered unto me…” (Luke 4:5-6) because Adam and Eve had given away their authority to Satan in the Garden of Eden. But Jesus has redeemed us! Hallelujah!

  2. “Notice there was not a question of strength. The Witch knew Aslan was powerful enough to take Edmund by force. Her claim to Edmund relied completely on legal rights for which she called on Aslan’s righteous justice. If the situation were reversed, she would not have followed the path of justice. Yet she relied on Aslan to be just.”

    Wow. Just. Wow.

    So, in being just as a part of His unchangeable nature, that He certainly is STRONG enough to do what He wants to, yet He cannot go against His own righteousness, how is it that we are not all just TOTAL DEPRAVITY? What is it that keeps us from that? Satan DOES have some level of power and freedom (due to man’s rejection of God, and not God himself, of course) so what “law of righteousness” keeps Satan from going whole hog on mankind? Not that there isnt a lot of horrible things happening in the world. I’m not naive. But when you think that EVERY human could be in the WORST possible situation at all times, that we can think of others above ourselves at times, give sacrificially, etc. even people who DON’T know Jesus as their Savior, what is it that allows that to happen?

    • Great questions, Debby!

      I think two things keep us from whole-hog total depravity.

      The first is in how God made us in His image. Yes, we are depraved. Yes, we are in covenant with the kingdom of darkness. Yes, we are slaves to sin and have a strong bent toward evil selfishness. Yet, we were originally created in the image of God and we still bear that stamp on our nature.

      God described this condition in His first command to Adam, “The Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.'”

      God named the forbidden fruit “the fruit if the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” because once Adam and Eve ate of that tree they and their descendants were in covenant with both good and evil…in covenant with God and in covenant with Satan.

      Second is God’s work through His children and through the prayers of His children on this earth. God gave Adam dominion over the earth. Adam conceded that power to Satan. Yet, God’s people on this earth still have the authority given to Adam…to rule over the earth…and to bring the power of God into the earth.

      And someday, Jesus will return to reclaim His rightful kingdom on Earth! 🙂
      joe recently posted…Aslan’s RedemptionMy Profile

  3. Much like the old, broken down houses we see on the fixer upper shows, upon first glance, there is NOTHING attractive, no redeeming qualities, yet as a master craftsman works with that old wood floor, and the underlying frame, what was originally there (made in God’s image) comes out. I’ll never see one of those shows the same way again!)
    As far as humans being capable of acts of selfless service, being Jesus’ hands and feet is what others can outwardly SEE and understand with their 5 senses (and the purpose is to lead them toward the One who is the reason we do these acts of service in the first place) and prayer is what shakes and moves the spirit realm that works outside of our 5 senses is what I hear you saying. That really puts prayer in a different light. I think we, as Christians, often view prayer as “magic words” that can bring about an outcome we think is the best possible outcome and so God, if He is a good God, would naturally agree with us, and when the outcome is different, we doubt. But there is so much more that is happening when we pray! It works toward GOD’S will and His will is perfect no matter what it looks like to us.

    • Yes! Prayer invites God into our lives to work His will and purpose.

      God gave authority over the earth to Adam, and He has not revoked that authority. God still works on this earth, through His people and through the prayers of His people.

      Thank you, Debby!
      joe recently posted…Aslan’s RedemptionMy Profile

    • By the way, we see a good illustration of this in the next book in the series, “Prince Caspian.”

      Several times in the story we have a repeated theme of heavenly constellations and prophets foretelling important events which may signal a new age for Narnia. This indicates the will of Aslan and the Emperor-over-the-Sea.

      Yet, Aslan and the four royals of ancient legend are called into Narnia by Susan’s horn.

      Aslan’s will already existed and was foretold by signs and prophecies. Yet the execution of that divine will was carried out through the petition (prayer) of Aslan’s people in Narnia.
      joe recently posted…Aslan’s RedemptionMy Profile

  4. “I once belonged to Satan. Satan once had a legal claim over my life which the Father acknowledged to be valid. Satan could not hold me by strength, as God is much stronger. Rather, Satan held me by legal claim, for which he completely relied on Father’s justice. So Jesus gave His life in exchange for mine. Jesus redeemed me from Satan’s legal claim, so I could cease to be a slave to sin and can now walk in righteousness and love, as a child of God….”
    This is my story and my song too!!!
    Praise be to This Great God!!!
    Great teaching Joseph!
    Have a super blessed year!
    Ugochi recently posted…4 Truths To Remember About God And Our Faith.My Profile

  5. Great thoughts! I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe years ago but it begs another read. These words right here speak such truth… “I once belonged to Satan. Satan once had a legal claim over my life which the Father acknowledged to be valid. Satan could not hold me by strength, as God is much stronger. Rather, Satan held me by legal claim, for which he completely relied on Father’s justice. So Jesus gave His life in exchange for mine. Jesus redeemed me from Satan’s legal claim, so I could cease to be a slave to sin and can now walk in righteousness and love, as a child of God.” Amen!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Choosing Care-full to Know I’m Cared ForMy Profile

  6. Oh, how I love the writing of C.S. Lewis. Right now I’m coming near to the end of a book discussion group on Till We Have Faces. Several times in my posts, I found myself referring to the Chronicles of Narnia. Even in his other books, Lewis portrays God so beautifully — He’s not like a tame lion.
    Michele Morin recently posted…The Radical Simplicity of Looking UpMy Profile

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