The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe has been a favorite among children and adults for generations. C.S. Lewis’ fantasy tells the story of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy—four children who live with a professor in the country during World War II. Through a wardrobe in his house, they discover the magical world of Narnia. They soon find that the White Witch has trapped the land in eternal winter and enslaved the Narnians. Edmund goes to her side, and his siblings must try to rescue him. But Mr. Beaver makes it clear that only Aslan can save him.
Not being Narnians, the children don’t know of Aslan, so the Beavers attempt to describe him. Mr. Beaver says, “I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the Sea…. Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.”
Naturally, the children feel skittish about encountering a real lion.
Susan asks, “Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” says Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
Lucy asks, “Then he isn’t safe?”
“Safe?” says 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.”
When they meet Aslan, the children do approach with fear and trembling because he’s not at all safe. But, as Mr. Beaver says, he’s good—so good that he dies in Edmund’s place, taking the penalty due a traitor to Narnia. But then Aslan rises from the dead and conquers the White Witch, freeing Narnia from bondage.
This story mirrors King Jesus’ interaction with us. We’re enslaved to sin, unable to do anything to save ourselves, but Jesus took the punishment we deserve by dying on a cross in our place. Then He rose again, breaking the power of death over us, so that we can live.
Jesus is the Son of God, the Lion of Judah. We must approach Him with reverence and awe because He’s not to be trifled with. Like Aslan, He’s not safe. But He’s good. He’s the King.
Will we dare approach Him today?