Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bible Study on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (BBC)

The Chronicles of Narnia:

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

(British Broadcasting Company Movie Edition)

Authorship: The Chronicles of Narnia were written by C.S. Lewis, a Christian English professor at Oxford College in England. The first volume was published in 1950 and was a story meant to remind us of the greatest story of all, the Bible.

Setting 1940, England, just prior to World War Two

Discussion Points

* (0:3:30) “The servants will take these [luggage]. That is their function. One must not deprive people of their function. Everyone has their part to play.”

People do not now, nor have they ever, seen servants in a very esteemed light. We view servants as being of a lower status than those whom they serve. We don’t want to serve. We want to be served. But, as Christians, we understand that one type of person or one type of job is not really more important than another, that we need everyone and every type of role to function to our fullest capacity. 

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 – 4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

1Corinthians 12:12-21 – 12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"

Christians should also understand what it means to take the nature of a servant: 

Jesus’ disciples had been arguing about which one of them deserved the most respect and authority. 

Matthew 20:25-2825Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

John 13:1-51It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. 2The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

John 13:12-1512When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Just as Jesus, the God of the whole universe, takes it upon Himself to serve us and to die for us, so we also should follow His example and be willing to serve each other. Those who serve others are most like Jesus.

* (0:11:00) Tumnus calls Lucy a “daughter of Eve” because she is a human. When God created the earth, He made one man.

Genesis 2:7 – “The Lord God formed the man [Adam] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

Genesis 2:18 – “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’”

Genesis 2:21-22 – “So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man.”

Genesis 3:20 – “Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.”

God then made Adam a woman, named Eve, to be his wife. From these two people, came all the humans that are alive today. We’re all one big family, with our great-great…grandparents being Adam and Eve.

* (0:16:00) Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are sent into the boring country to live with a boring old professor in a boring old house. But, as we come to find out, things are not at all what they seem. As soon as Lucy discovers the passage into Narnia, her life goes from being boring to being exciting, from ordinary to magical. We can see this same kind of change in our own lives. We see the world around us and assume that this is all that there is. But, as Christians, we know that there is much more to life than just what we can see with our eyes and touch with our hands. There is another side of life, the spiritual side, that we can enter, that can change our lives to make them more exciting, more adventurous, more fulfilling. Just as the children entered into Narnia, so God invites us into this spiritual side of life:

John 7:24 – Jesus says,“Stop judging by mere appearances and make a right judgment.”

Things are not always as they appear.

1 Corinthians 2:7-9 – “We speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.’”

This spiritual life has been hidden from us before, but now we can enter into it. Some people do not understand it, but now we can, and if we are willing to enter into this spiritual life with God, God promises that it will be more incredible than anything that we could ever imagine. Jesus says in John 10:10 – “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

* (0:20:45) Mr. Tumnus pretended to be Lucy’s friend because he was working for the White Witch. But then Mr. Tumnus had a change of heart. He was sorry that he had been working for the White Witch and turned away from the wrong that he had to serve her. The Bible says that we’re all like Mr. Tumnus before we come to know Jesus. 

1 Corinthians 6:1616Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Matthew 12:30 – Jesus says, “Whoever is not with Me is against Me.”

We can work for sin or we can work for God, we can be slaves to sin or we can be slaves to God, we can be with Jesus, or we can be against Jesus. Before we come to know Jesus, we’re all slaves to sin, working for the devil, against Jesus. But when we realize our sin, God gives us the opportunity to feel sorry for it and to turn away from it (repent). 

1 Corinthians 7:10 – “Godly sorrow leads to repentance which leads to salvation.”

* (0:25:30)The first thing that Lucy does when she gets back from her visit to Narnia is to try to tell the other children what she has experienced. Of course, the other three children, not having experienced what she has, do not believe her and even make fun of her. Lucy gets frustrated that they do not believe her, but she knows what she has seen, and she sticks to the truth of her experience. After we have experienced the spiritual side of life, the first thing that we want to do is invite others to share that experience with us, but many people do not believe it when we tell them about it. The only thing that we can do is to hold firmly to the truth that we have experienced and to pray for and keep talking to those people who don’t believe us.

Matthew 5:10-1210Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:4444But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

*(0:38:10)Edmund, after finding himself in Narnia, comes face to face with the White Witch. She acts nicely toward him, offers him things, pretends to be his friend, but the Witch also demands that Edmund do certain things for her and it is obvious that the Witch does not really care for Edmund.

2 Corinthians 11:14 – “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”

Just as the Witch acted nicely toward Edmund, so Satan can pretend to be an angel. The devil acts friendly toward us and tells us what we want to hear, but that doesn’t mean that we can believe him.

John 8:44 – The devil has no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

He only acts friendly toward us and lies to us so that we’ll do what he wants us to do.

Just as the White Witch offered Edmund to be king of Narnia, so the devil tempted Jesus. Luke 4:5-8 5The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7So if you worship me, it will all be yours." 8Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'"

Satan can offer us Turkish Delight or kingdoms, power or money, but it’s not worth it. It won’t last. The only thing that matters is worshipping God.

Mark 8:3636What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?

Have you ever wondered why the White Witch is so White? She’s pale. When do people get really pale? When they’re sick or dead. The White Witch is dead. She is dead spiritually. She has no life in her.

*(0:46:30)The professor says that nothing is more probable than that other worlds exist. Do you think it’s probable that other worlds with life exist? Do you think God created other planets to have life on them? If God is infinite, why limit Himself to just earth? If God created millions of different kinds of animals on this planet, why not create a few more somewhere else? If God created black and tan and white and red and yellow people here, why wouldn’t He create blue people somewhere else? Just something to think about.

*(1:10:00)The Beavers begin to describe Aslan to the children. They say that He is a lion. In the Bible, God is referred to as being a Lion. 

Revelation 5:55Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."

Hosea 5:14-1514 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, like a great lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them.15 Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me."

What are some of the reasons you think the Bible would call God a Lion? What does a lion have in common with God? Strength, power, etc.

The movie also says that people should be afraid of Aslan, afraid of God. Why do you think people are or should be afraid of God? He’s strong enough to hurt you. He can discipline you.

The third thing that the Beavers say about Aslan is that He’s not safe. He is not tame. Neither can we tame God. God is in control of us, not us in control of God. Neither is God safe. Sometimes God has to hurt us so that He can help us. Sometimes God makes us give up a sin, something wrong that we’re doing, something that we don’t want to give up, something that might hurt to give up so that we can be better people. Sometimes God takes away a friend or a member of a family so that we can learn to trust Him better.

*(1:21:00)Notice how Edmund’s conscience keeps warning him, keeps telling him that what he is doing is wrong. Does your conscience ever speak to you? Do you listen to it? If you don’t, you’ll probably end up in trouble like Edmund’s about to. God gives us our conscience to help us.

*(1:46:00)Why do you think it was always winter in Narnia when the White Witch was in control?

Romans 8:19-2219The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

The Bible says that the whole creation is frustrated, is in bondage to decay, is groaning in the pains of childbirth. Genesis 3:17-18 tells us why that is - 17 To Adam God said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

The ground never used to be cursed. It never produced thorns and thistles before. But what happened? Adam and Eve sinned. And because Adam and Eve brought sin into the world, the whole world suffers for it.

Did you know that animals never used to eat each other until Adam and Eve sinned? The Bible says that the animal kingdom will have peace again in Heaven. Isaiah 11:6-9 - 6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. 7 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. 9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

*(1:48:30)When we first see Aslan, He has some pretty strange-looking animals with Him. God also has pretty strange-looking creatures that are with him.

Ezekiel 1:4-144 I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, 5 and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was that of a man, 6 but each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides they had the hands of a man. All four of them had faces and wings, 9 and their wings touched one another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved. 10 Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a man, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. 11 Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out upward; each had two wings, one touching the wing of another creature on either side, and two wings covering its body. 12 Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. 13 The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. 14 The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.

Revelation 4:6-86Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."

*(2:19:00)Traitors are the rightful property of the Queen. Our parallel is that all sinners are the rightful property of the devil. Alsan does not deny this. God knows that all sinners, anyone who has ever done anything wrong, go to the devil. The consequence of our sin is being put to death. 

Genesis 2:15-17 – 15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Genesis 3:17-1917 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

Did you know that before Adam and Eve sinned, they would never have to die? They only died because they did what God told them not to do. That was the consequence. Now we all return to the dust from which we were made.

Romans 6:21-23 – 21What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Death is the consequence of our sin. But this verse says that even though we have sinned, God gives us the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. If we believe in Jesus, we don’t have to die. 

*Just as Edmund was afraid when the Witch demanded his blood, so are we afraid when the devil comes to take us. But did you notice how Edmund kept looking toward Aslan for help, to protect him from the Witch? So we look to God to save us from the devil.

Psalm 105:44 Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

2 Samuel 22:2-32 He said: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent men you save me.

God is the One who saves us, which is what Aslan did for Edmund. Edmund sinned, and the consequence of that was that he had to die. But Aslan made a deal with the Witch. He traded Himself for Edmund. Instead of Edmund being put to death, Alsan died in his place. It’s just like when we sin, we have to die, but God, in his mercy, allows us to make a trade. In the Old Testament, when someone sinned, they had to bring an animal to the priest and have it put to death. They had to make a sacrifice. The animal died so that the person didn’t have to yet. When Jesus died on the cross, He became our sacrifice. Instead of us being put to death for our sins, Jesus allowed Himself to be put to death in our place.

*Just like Aslan was sad about what He had to do, so was Jesus. And just as Aslan was happy to have Susan and Lucy with Him for part of the way, so Jesus took some of his friends with Him to keep Him company.

Matthew 26:36-3836Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

*Just as Aslan did not resist or try to argue when the monsters were killing Him, neither did Jesus try to stop His death.

Isaiah 53:77 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

*And as Aslan died for Edmund, so Jesus died for all of us. 

Isaiah 53:55 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

1 John 2:22He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

Colossians 1:13-1413For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption the forgiveness of sins.

*But not only does Jesus give us forgiveness for our sins; He has also defeated the concept of death itself so that, just as Jesus could not stay dead, neither will we stay dead. 

1 Corinthians 15:3-83For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-1813Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.

1 Corinthians 15:50-5850I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." 55"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"[b] 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

*(2:26:30)Aslan’s breath brings the statues back to life. This reminds us of how God breathed into the first human being to bring him to life.

Genesis 2:77 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

*As the forces of good battle the forces of evil, we have to remember that we are also fighting every day.

*(2:31:30) Ephesians 6:10-1810Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

*(2:34:30) Now that Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are the kings and queens of Narnia, the prophecy has been fulfilled. God gives us many prophecies in the Bible, some of which have already been fulfilled, like the coming of Jesus, but some have not yet happened. Why do you think God gives us prophecies?

Amos 3:7-87 Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. 8 The lion has roared— who will not fear? The Sovereign LORD has spoken— who can but prophesy?

John 14:2929I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.

God tells us what He is going to happen so that when it happens we can see it and will believe in Him because He obviously knew what He was talking about and the power to make things happen the way that He wanted them to happen.


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