Friday, December 16, 2005

Chronicles of Narnia

In celebration of the first day of Christmas vacation, my family and I watched the "Chronicles of Narnia" tonight at the movie theatre. Before anything else, I just have to say, I thought it was a wonderful movie. The characters were endearing and the special effects amazing. "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" was one of my favorite childhood books, so of course, I had to see it now.

The Christian allegory was also very plain to see, at least for those of us old enough to recognize the scriptural connections. These are just a few of the more obvious connections:

1) the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve (Genesis 3:20);

2) Aslan as Christ, the Lion of Judah (Revelations 5:5);

3) Edmund, like Judas, betrays his brethren for a few pieces of earthly pleasure (Matthew 26: 14-15);

4) Aslan gives his life in exchange for the treachery of another (1 Timonthy 2:6);

5) Lucy and Susan watch the brutal sacrifice, much like the holy women at the foot of the cross (John 19:25);

6) Aslan rises from the dead (John 20:1-17);

7) Aslan revives the stone captives by breathing on them (John 20:22).

The story of Christ gives hope and inspiration to millions of people across the world, but for me it often provokes a troubling religious question. Before I ask the question, however, I want to preface it by saying my question is not intended to offend my Christian audience in any way. It is something I really want to know, and something I often wondered, even when I still attended church regularly.

My question:

I understand the doctrine of sacrifice; Christ gave his life in exchange for our sins, but I always wanted to know why his suffering and death were necessary in the first place. Who wanted that? I mean, is that what God wanted from us because we make a few mistakes in life or commit a few sins? Does he really demand perfection, and if so, why can't he just forgive us without all the blood and gore?

Having asked the question, please don't think I'm trying to offend anyone. I sincerely don't understand the basis or the need for blood atonement. The "Chronicles of Narnia" refer to it as "old magic," but what is the real answer for those who believe in traditional Christianity?

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