Growing up, I’d so long to get into Narnia that, despite being in hot, humid Malaysia, I’d put on my mum’s heavy winter jacket that she used for travelling, walk into her wardrobe, and push the back of it hoping that I’d be able to enter into Narnia! But of course, each time, I’d just end up sitting in there, sweating and waiting in vain!
Why did I love Narnia? It was magical, full of adventure and there was a good ending – a happily ever after! But mostly, I longed to be in Narnia because of Aslan – I fell in love with him.
Now in a bookshop, you’d find the Chronicles of Narnia under the fantasy section. But for Lewis, Narnia was no mere fantasy.
At the end of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when it was sadly time for the children to go back to their world, Aslan reassures them that they’ll still meet him in their world. On hearing this:
“But are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund
“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”
Lewis’ aim in bringing people into Narnia was to introduce them to the real Lion, Jesus, that we might know Him, and indeed grow to love Him, when we leave Narnia to go back into the real world.
And that’s why Christians are Christians – because we have grown to know and love Jesus. No one thrills our hearts like Jesus – He is simply “the most excellent of men.” (Psalm 45). Christians aren’t Christians merely because they want to escape hell and live forever in some paradise. For those who truly know Jesus, living forever without Him would be hell. No, Christians love the Bible, love being at church, love singing songs of praises, long to live forever, only because we love Jesus. Being with Jesus, that’s the only forever worth living, the only happily ever after there is – and He’s for everyone who wants Him.
Reverend Leon Sim