Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Final Blog Post (3/3) H1G4 - Edmund Pevensie: A Story of Redemption



Edmund Pevensie: A Story of Redemption

I am following the story of Edmund Pevensie in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, focusing mainly on the Christian undertones that permeate the tale.  In my last two posts, The Sinner and The Savior, I talked about how Edmund has sold himself to the White Witch due to his own greed, but fully regrets it once he realizes she really is evil and Aslan is the good guy.  Also, she is going to kill him to maintain her rule over Narnia!  However, the great Lion Aslan, the rightful King of Narnia, sacrifices himself to save Edmund.  The White Witch, after killing Aslan, believes she will reign forever and is now fighting against Aslan's army (sans Aslan).  However, miraculously, Aslan has risen from the dead, effectively taking away the White Witch's "victory."  We follow him now as he hurries with some warriors over to where his army is fighting.  They are really struggling, and it does not look good....

Aslan's army advancing on an even scarier, bigger army (unseen)....

Part III: The Saved

We are now at the big battle between good and evil.  Peter, the eldest Pevensie, is dueling the extremely terrifying White Witch, and he is struggling.  His strength is waning and he won't last long.  Enter Aslan, who is even scarier than the White Witch when he wants to be.  

Oh, you know, just being a boss.

VERSUS

Is that fear in her eyes?

Peter, while he triumphs over smaller opponents with relative ease due to his reliance on Aslan, cannot seem to get anywhere in his fight against the main instigator of all these troubles; in his human weakness, this young man cannot defeat the evil White Witch on his own.  Right when the White Witch is about to make her fatal blow against Peter, Aslan jumps in between the two and immediately kills the White Witch with his huge jaws and teeth.  He doesn't think twice about it.  Her power is absolutely no match to Aslan's.  The battle ends quickly after the White Witch's death.

Peter tells Aslan they wouldn't have gotten as far as they did if it had not have been for Edmund's intelligence.  They were losing so many people because the White Witch kept petrifying them, so Edmund destroyed her golden wand, which restored everyone into their natural selves.  However, Edmund is seriously wounded.  They all rush over to him, where he lays dying.  Aslan reminds Lucy of her cordial with its healing liquid, and she gives it to Edmund.  His health is restored and he looks different than he has the whole story: he looks more pure, more happy, as if a load has been lifted off of him.  

Lucy healing her brother....
Aslan then knights Edmund, turning him from a boy to man.  Edmund has been made new.  

So, what does this mean?

It takes Edmund realizing his mistakes.  He does that when he sees the White Witch's evil and when Aslan talks with him.  It takes forgiveness of his wrongdoings.  That could only happen when Aslan gave his life for Edmund, making it possible for Edmund's misconduct to be forgiven.  However, none of this yet brings Edmund the freedom he so desperately wants.  It is only when Edmund himself accepts the healing cordial - which is given to him at Aslan's request.  Edmund, in his humility, realizes he can not do it on his own; he needs Aslan's help.  When he accepts that help, he is knighted, officially a part of Aslan's army.

Edmund, of Aslan's Army
Edmund's mistakes.... what are they to us?  Have we ever been greedy?  Have we ever had bad feelings towards others?  Have we ever been selfish?  I sure have.   What does it mean to us if we perform these acts?  Why does it matter?  And what are these acts, anyway?  

It is sin.

It means our separation from God.  

It means no matter what we do, say, or think, we are not getting out of this alive.  Because, we have learned that sin means treason against God, and the punishment for treason is death.  
  
What does this mean?

No amount of works we do ourselves will help us.  We need the help of a Savior.  Enter Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, who is infinitely more powerful, loving, and important than anyone else we can find on earth.  And yet, He humbled Himself to become a snot-nosed human.  He taught, He loved, He healed.  He got dirty.  He got sick.  He experienced the same temptations we suffer every day.  But He remained perfect.  He gave us the healing cordial when He died on the cross and rose again three days later.  He defeated death.  The battle is already won!  We just have to drink the life-giving liquid in our hands.  It takes a realization of our own sin and that nothing we do can save us from that eternal punishment.  It takes our acceptance of His great gift to us: eternal life in paradise with our Creator.  To accept that gift means to die to ourselves, which means that we replace our desires with those of Jesus.  We turn away from our sin, and we turn to God.  We turn away from enslavement, and we turn to freedom.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

                                        - Philippians 1:21

When we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, the world does not get better.  We still face many trials.  Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy suffer terrible hardships even after they devote themselves to Aslan.  But, what we have in Jesus Christ is eternal peace and joy, even in our suffering.  No matter how bad it gets on earth, we have our place in paradise with our Creator.  It just takes faith in the only One who can get us there!

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. - 1 Peter 2:9

4 comments:

  1. "No matter how bad it gets on earth, we have our place in paradise with our Creator." Unless paradise and the Creator are the fictions many of us think them to be.

    You see, Keaton, this is the very attitude that alienates skeptics and humanists and secularists from theists. We suspect you True Believers of not being fully invested in the amelioration of life on earth, since you think you always have a personal safety-net secured by your faith.

    I respect people of faith, when their belief inspires their goodness. But I'm concerned about their possible indifference to the plight of the earth, which on our view is the only place we'll ever be able to count on.

    On the upside: we're not remotely concerned about Hell.

    Finally, a literary judgment: I liked C.S. Lewis's character in "Shadowlands," but his books seem vastly overrated.

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  2. Dr. Oliver, with all due respect, I strongly disagree. You say that True Believers are not devoted to making life on earth better, which means showing love to others. However, the fact that Jesus Christ, who is God, left perfection to come down to a world of imperfection shows just how concerned He is for His creation. Likewise, we are called to love others just as He loves us. Matthew 25:35-40 talks about how our acts of love towards one another are acts of love to Jesus Himself.

    I was speaking of God's promise to His followers when I said that we have our place with Him no matter what happens here on earth. This promise does not exclude us from helping the poor, nor does it exclude us from facing hardships.

    The whole point of being a True Believer in Jesus is to love God and love others. They are the two greatest commandments from God (Matthew 22:37-40). Through this love comes "the amelioration of life on earth."

    This love is present in Murfreesboro. Three of the four main homeless shelters in the city are Christian-based, and numerous churches in town have active outreach programs that provide services for the needy and the disadvantaged.

    One of your own students actually lives at a low-income family housing facility in Smyrna called Wherry Housing. She does this to honor God by sharing His love with others. I hope you will take a couple minutes to watch this great video, below, which gives a brief overview of the volunteers who serve there.

    Our main mission as Christians is to glorify God so that others may come to know Him. We are invested in His creation, our neighbors, so that they may experience the joy of Christ and the promise of eternity with Him. In the end, eternity with Jesus is what really matters. There is more than just earth. By focusing on God in Heaven, we are helping life on earth in the process - we are showing love to people and pointing them to Jesus.

    http://lifepointchurch.org/wherry-story

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  3. Keaton, I reiterate my respect for people of faith who are motivated thereby to goodness and service. You are clearly one of those,though I suspect you'd be a person of character even without the personal promise of heavenly reward. And by the same token, I'm sure you respect those of no-faith who are good and faithful servants of humanity.

    So there we are: plenty enough common ground for us all to stand on. As I've said so many times in class, I find it a richer universe for our differences. How boring it'd be, if we all thought the same. Pluralism forever!

    And so I decline to agree with you that "eternity with Jesus is what really matters." If you're right you can say I told you so. Guess you won't be telling me, though... unless the God I've found it impossible to believe in is truly a merciful one.

    Thanks for giving voice to your convictions, and for listening respectfully to mine. Good luck!

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  4. Edmund is a prime example of what it means to be human. He is a born sinner. Although we are born of sin, we are naturally good at heart. One must allow hate in their heart in order to be emotionless when choosing to make mistakes in life. When we feel our conscious speak to us and have a sense of regret, that is our humanity as we know it telling us something is wrong. Being that said, redemption is always an option. Redemption is knowing your mistakes, owning up to them and making a change for the better.

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