The Gospel Message on Movie Day


Aslan-PCFor the final three weeks of the school year I am attempting to cram in a fourth book for our class to read together. We are going to be reading C.S. Lewis’s Prince Caspian. The kids that were at L.E.A.D.  last year read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in 3rd grade, and I think it will be a nice capstone for our class. Also Prince Caspian has many themes that coincide with the Reformation, which is an area of history that we spend a lot of time on in class.

To make sure everyone is caught up on the story at the start of Prince Caspian I decided to show the class the live-action adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that Disney produced back in 2005. I had forgotten how great of an adaptation this movie is. Strictly speaking adaption wise this movie is almost perfect in my opinion. It keeps the Biblical truths of the novel, while also being entertaining. All together it ranks up there with Lord of the Rings in my opinion as far as straight film adaptations of novels goes.

I had planned to show the movie to the kids, and while they watched it get caught up on a few things such as grades and lesson plans. God had something else in store.

While my students were at P.E. I did my daily devotional. The book I am currently reading is the Comeback by Louie Giglio. In the second chapter Gigilio just so happens to talk about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I knew immediately that God was trying to share something with my so I perked up and paid more attention as I read.

Giglio uses a passage from Lewis’s book to talk about God coming to us in our fallen state. He talks about how Aslan’s (Jesus) breath is thawing the eternal winter that had fallen on Narnia. Isn’t that just what Jesus does for our lives? He finds us in this barren life where we are frozen, and sin has us stuck in this perpetual winter where nothing grows. Then Jesus bursts onto the scene of our life and  “leads us back to his springtime full of life and growth, productivity and beauty.” (Giglio 24)

The beauty of all this is that Jesus comes to us.

As my students started watching the film they were enthralled by it. I mean that completely. Normally when we watch a film I have to consistently remind them to be respectful of their fellow audience and to keep their voices down. This was not the case today. Everyone was glued to the screen watching the film. Especially when Aslan finally appears.

I slowly crept away from my desk and took a seat near the television and began to watch with the kids. As the movie played on I could see them slowly putting together the pieces of the Gospel message which is the subtext of the story. When we approached the scene where Aslan sacrifices himself on the Stone Table to save Edmund (Jesus on the cross saving mankind) I was afraid the children might laugh at how ridiculously ugly some of Aslan’s tormenters are. Besides one chuckle, they were all deadly silent. I asked them to keep their minds open to what they think this whole scene represented. There was quiet and sadness in our classroom. I felt myself break out in goosebumps as Aslan died. My mind was on my sweet savior who actually did suffer a gruesome death to save my soul.

Then there was much triumph and happiness as Aslan reappears and brings life to all those frozen by the Witch’s spells. He joins the epic battle taking place and defeats the Witch once and for all and says the powerful words “It is finished.”

The kids gave the movie a round of applause as it finished and then we had a discussion of the Biblical themes in the story. They were on fire, and were almost a step ahead of me as I asked them questions about the parallels in this story and our own.

I shared with them a quote from Lewis himself where he said:

“Since Narnia is a world of talking beasts, I thought He {Christ} would become a talking beast there, as He became a man here.”

From there we talked about how beautiful our savior is. He did not wait for us to clean ourselves up because he knew we never could. Instead he got down and dirty with us. He got down on our level and became one of us so that he might save us. How beautiful and worthy of praise he is!

At first I had been worried that we were spending too much time watching a movie. It’s the end of the year and there is plenty of material we still need to cover. However, I think today may have been one of the most important days of the whole school year. Jesus came to us in our fallen state. How wonderful it is to remember that fact.


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