Edmund Pevensie: A Story of Redemption
I am following the story of Edmund, one of the four Pevensie children who find themselves in the midst of a conflict in the land of Narnia. Mainly, I am focusing on the Christian undertones of this boy's story, written by C.S. Lewis. In my last post, I talked about how Edmund, in the beginning of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is a sinner with no hope. Having rejected Aslan's side of good, Edmund has allowed himself to get trapped in league with the evil White Witch because of his own greed, and now he is about to be killed. He is hopeless. Likewise, some people who try to live life relying on their own strength feel like they are trapped and cannot get out of this pit they are in. Edmund needs a savior. Who will fill that role for him?
Part II: The Savior
|Aslan speaks with Edmund....|
The evil White Witch comes to Aslan and says that, according to the ancient law of the land, anyone who commits treachery is hers to kill. She has their blood. Man! Edmund cannot seem to get a break, can he? He makes only a small mistake when, in his greed, he accepts the treats of the White Witch. However, it is that one small act that snowballs into this huge mess, and now he's going to pay for it even though he thought he was free!
Aslan, knowing this ancient law, has a long talk with her. Again, no one knows what they say to each other. We only know that when Aslan returns, he looks saddened.
Then, we find out something unbelievable: Aslan, the rightful King of Narnia, the benevolent, great, revered, loved, powerful leader of his people, has volunteered himself to be killed in place of Edmund, a snot-nosed kid who is not even part of their world. Aslan, for some unfathomable reason, loves Edmund enough to die in his spot.
No one in Aslan's camp knows about this except him. In the dark of night, he leaves, along with Susan and Lucy, but once he gets to the Stone Table where he is to be murdered, he tells them to leave. They hide behind a bush, curious and frightened of what they might see. Not long after, the White Witch and all her terrifying animals come to Aslan. They humiliate him by shaving off his mane, they beat him, and they tie him to the table with thick cords. The White Witch comes up to the lion and points out that with Aslan gone, nothing can stop her from killing Edmund and the rest. She then takes her stone dagger and kills him. The terrible troupe, in their victory, leave the dead lion on the table.
|Aslan about to be slain....|
Clearly, this is a picture of Jesus Christ's sacrifice for all humanity. We have committed treason against our Creator. The punishment is death. No one can pay the price for another person because they have that same price to pay themselves. No. The only person that can really pay the price in full is one who has not done wrong. One who is perfect. One who is God Himself. This is what Jesus did for us. He humbly allowed people to beat him and humiliate Him. He let them nail Him to a cross, and He let them mock His name. Jesus Christ, the Creator of the world, died for His snot-nosed murderers.
So... The White Witch makes a good point: why in the world would Aslan let himself be killed if he knew it would do nothing to stop her from killing the humans? Likewise, why would Jesus let Himself be killed? He'd be dead, and that'd be the end of the story! The enemy would win and He would lose. Well, Aslan must have known something the White Witch doesn't....
Susan and Lucy, once everyone is gone, runs over and greatly mourns the loss of Aslan, in whom they had placed their love, trust, and their very lives. They cry themselves to sleep. The next morning, however, when they are looking at the rising sun, they hear a tremendous CRACK and they turn to find the great Stone Table broken in two and no Aslan.
Then, coming toward them, they see the great Lion in all his kingly glory. He has risen from the dead.
|Aslan risen from the dead....|
Once the girls and Aslan spend some time together, the great Lion goes to the White Witch's castle and restores the life to all those who have been petrified by her terrible golden wand. Then, Aslan, Susan, and Lucy, along with all the newly revived animals go to where the battle between the White Witch and Aslan's army is raging.
So, the White Witch's supposed "victory" over the King of Narnia is quite short-lived. What Aslan knew before he sacrificed himself is that, according to the ancient law, if an innocent person takes the place of the condemned, then that innocent person's sacrifice will reverse their death. Jesus rose from the dead because He triumphed over death. No longer will we be subject to eternal death; Jesus has defeated it.
However, as we will see, just because Aslan has died for Edmund does not mean that the boy is automatically cured of the result of his wrongdoing.
Find out what happens next in my next and final post!