C.S. Lewis wrote the Chronicles of Narnia to communicate the powerful truths of the gospel. Narnia, like earth, was filled with beauty, brokenness, evil and redemption. Lewis wrote the series in 1940 during the outbreak of WWII. The people of London were anxious and fearful. The four Pevensie children were sent away from their parents because of the bombings. In part, Narnia was intended to convey the hope of the coming kingdom of God. Aslan, the great lion, sacrificed himself for the people of Narnia. And then he ultimately returned to win the last battle and put an end to evil. We get a glimpse of how Jesus’ reign and his kingdom will unfold in our own world.
One of the provocative elements in the series is how one enters Narnia. There are two primary considerations. First, you must be childlike. Of the four Pevensie children, Susan is highlighted in this regard. Aslan ultimately establishes his benevolent kingdom but Susan is excluded – no longer a friend of Narnia. She had grown up and lost interest in such things. She no longer walked in humble faith but became proud and independent. Secondly, you are drawn into Narnia. People generally found themselves in Narnia when they least expected it. They stumbled into the back of a magic wardrobe. They were swept into a picture frame. They were carried off of a railway platform. No one forces their way in. They enter only on Aslan’s terms.
This gives us insight to consider how people enter Jesus’ coming kingdom. First, the kingdom is reserved for the childlike. Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3). Second, we are drawn into the kingdom. We enter at Jesus’ invitation and on his terms. We don’t demand entry. We receive it as a gift. Paul wrote, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom…” (2 Timothy 4:18a). And Peter wrote, “For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:11). The Pevensie children loved the Narnia of Lewis’ imagination. But Jesus’ kingdom will be even better!
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