aslanIf you’ve never read the Narnia series by legendary author  Clive Staples Lewis, you’re doing yourself a misfortune.

In it he crafts a mysterious and magical world called Narnia that four young British children stumble into, through the back of an old wardrobe in a country house they are evacuated to during the second World War in London, in the first book titled ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’.

Much like Pilgrim’s progress, written by John Bunyan in 1678, ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ [and the subsequent books in the seven book series] was a Christian allegory sharing principles and truths of the Christian faith, through the telling of a captivating story.

Aslan is the name of the lion character that is introduced and it becomes clear that he represents Jesus in the way that He speaks and loves and lives [and dies, and comes back!]. He often represents a side of Jesus that we too often like to shy away from [especially in these emergent, post-modern times where we don’t ever want to feel bad or obligated or the need to repent for anything].

Two statements from ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ illustrate this well:

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” 

The idea of Jesus not being safe, but still being good. With statements like ‘If you want to follow Me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me,’ is not a very safe statement. But it is good.

And the second one:

“He’ll be coming and going” he had said. “One day you’ll see him and another you won’t. He doesn’t like being tied down–and of course he has other countries to attend to. It’s quite all right. He’ll often drop in. Only you mustn’t press him. He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”

We tend to like the idea of a tame Jesus, that we can control. So the idea and practice of ‘this far and no further’. We like to be able to set the boundaries and draw the lines of commitment when Jesus has already invited us to a ‘life to the full’ but one that requires complete absolute commitment.

So I wanted to run a series [and maybe I will get some help from some friends] on some of the aspects of Jesus that are maybe easier to overlook or play down. The times when Jesus came across a little more like a lion than a lamb. This is an essential part of His character and should not be missed.

Join me on this journey as we take a bit of a deeper look at Aslan Jesus:

“I have come,” said a deep voice behind them. They turned and saw the Lion himself, so bright and real and strong that everything else began at once to look pale and shadowy compared with him.” [C.S. Lewis ‘The Silver Chair’]

[disclaimer: sadly Aslan is the one character I felt the movies got wrong. He needed a James Earl Jones Mufasa type voice of authority and they gave him a friendly Uncle Liam Neeson and so he, in my opinion, came across as rather a tame lion, which was an immense pity, as the rest of the movie was pretty good]

[For part I of this series titled ‘Get thee behind me’ click here]

[for part II of this series – guest post by Dalene Reyburn titled ‘Glory in the Claws’ click here]

[For part III of this series ‘Sticks and Stones’ click here]

[For part IV on Enough being Enough, click here]

[For part V on life backing up profession of faith, click here]

[For part VI on Jesus kicking some Pharisaical butt, click here] 

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