Lately, our family has been enjoying reading together the Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis. We love to read books as a family when we have the time, especially when they are of the sort that everyone is pleading for more at the end of every chapter. These books are of value in every way and appeal to all ages.
If you are familiar with Narnia you know that Aslan the lion is a representation of Jesus in these stories. Something that is noted of Aslan throughout the series is that while Aslan is all wise and beautiful and joyful and full of love, at the same time, “He is not a tame lion.” There is a fear about him, and you never know just what to expect.
In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, we are introduced to Aslan for the first time. It takes Lewis 12 exciting and delightful chapters to lead up to meeting him, nearly three-fourths of the way through the story. Finally, at the place of the Stone Table (where later, after speaking with the Witch, the mighty Aslan sacrificially offers his own life in order to redeem the one who had rebelled), they see him.
“… the Beavers and the children didn’t know what to do or say when they saw him. People who have not been in Narnia sometimes think that a thing cannot be good and terrible at the same time. If the children had ever thought so, they were cured of it now. For when they tried to look at Aslan’s face they just caught a glimpse of the golden mane and the great, royal, solemn, overwhelming eyes; and then they found they couldn’t look at him and went all trembly…
His voice was deep and rich and somehow took the fidgets out of them. They now felt glad and quiet and it didn’t seem awkward to them to stand and say nothing.”
I’m thankful for stories like this that paint such a vivid picture of my Redeemer. Especially one that is written so well and that will implant these truths into the hearts of my children in a way they will never forget.
While preparing the Easter church bulletin this year, I looked up the description from John of his vision of the resurrected Lord Jesus in Revelation chapter 1.
“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
This is striking, especially as we consider that this is John the beloved disciple who is seen in the Gospels as being very close to the Lord. John refers to himself in his gospel as the disciple “whom Jesus loved.” Remember, this is the very same Jesus whom John knew so well. And in the Revelation, until Jesus places His hand on John and tells him not to fear, the beloved disciple who had reclined at the table beside our Lord falls at the feet of this very same Jesus as a dead man, at the mere sight of Him.
Consider what Jesus taught on eternal punishment in Hell, and how He would boldly speak face to face with the religious and political leaders of the day, warning them of the danger they faced of hell fire. Think of how He walked into the temple and threw over the money-changers’ tables, swinging a home-made whip. What kind of a man speaks directly to devils and demons, and they obey Him, even cowering in fear of Him? What kind of a man sleeps through raging storms and when awoken, commands the storm to stop– and it obeys Him? Imagine the human physical and mental strength that would have been necessary to endure forty days of intense temptation from the devil himself, as well as the unimaginable cruelty and suffering of the crucifixion. We could go on.
While Jesus is certainly meek and gentle in His dealings with people in the Scriptures (and, praise His name, often in His dealings with me!), He is also just as certainly NOT what He has often been portrayed as– a weak, sickly, frail, pale, emasculated Jesus. Jesus is not frail.
Jesus is not a coward. He is not passive. Much to the contrary, He’s the Lion of Judah, and He’s not a tame, domesticated lion. He is Lord and God, and when He roars, all of creation obeys His voice.
The title of this blog is “Turn Your Eyes on Jesus.” And when we do turn our eyes on Him, we begin to see the God-Man for who He truly is.
Like John, I’m so thankful I can rest on my Lord and know I am a follower whom He loves. But it is good for us to remember that He is a consuming fire, the Ruler of the universe, and if we saw Him today, we would go “all trembly” and would fall at His feet as dead men– this One who defeated ultimate enemies the likes of sin, death, hell– this One who by His own power stood up in a dark tomb after being dead for three days and walked out of it. Let’s go ahead and fall at His feet this Easter, and call Him “Lord.”