Sometimes I ask myself:
"Self, why are movies like 'The Lord of the Rings,' 'The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe,' and now 'Prince Caspian' some of the best flicks ever made (imho)?"
Well, let's see. Great acting? Check. Awesome special effects? Check. Amazing soundtrack? Check. Exciting and suspenseful plot? Check - and checkmate. Any film that can weave those elements into a larger than life fantasy setting can have my hard earned $9.75 ticket price anytime. They can even have the additional $57.50 or whatever it is now for the massive tub-o-popcorn and colossal drink.
But as I thought about it further, there is another element to these movies that simply rock my world. They all have what is called a 'Messianic' theme to them. Messianic coming from 'messiah' - which essentially means 'Savior' or rescuer.
Think about all the messianic movies out there. Yes, Lord of the Rings and Narnia - but you've seen them in The Matrix (Neo is the chosen one!), Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Ironman, heck even Johnny Depp is a messiah type despite his metro sexual pirate gear and permanent half - hammered state of existence.
But I guess Narnia takes the lion's share of my appreciation, because C.S. Lewis didn't set out to write a story about just any messiah. His goal was to teach children about The Messiah. As you probably already have observed, Aslan is a Christ figure. In The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, we see that Aslan is the Son of the Emperor across the sea (can you say God the Father?) - and He willingly gives his life to pay for the sins of Edmund and break the power of the dark magic.
In Prince Caspian, Aslan is back - and this time He gives us a different and deeper picture of Jesus Christ and ourselves. Let me just pass along a few for your encouragement, because to me they help the movie go from being an entertaining way to spend a few hours to a source of spiritual truth that will inspire and motivate you for a long time!
My first example is this. When Lucy first finds Aslan, she comments that he seems much bigger. His response is this:
"I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger."
Isn't this an amazing illustration of the Christian life? When we first trust in Jesus as our only hope of salvation with child-like faith, we see Christ as our Savior and our friend. As we grow in our walk with Him, we begin to discover other aspects about Jesus that didn't occur to us at the beginning. He becomes the Lord and King of our lives, and we see Him as the Apostle Paul describes in Colossians 1:15-17:
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see - such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.
Wow! That's a bigger picture of Christ - isn't it? The cool thing is that He has always ruled and reigned over His creation, so it wasn't Christ that got bigger, but our perspective grew as we have gotten to know Him through His Word.
My other favorite passage from Prince Caspian is when Aslan reveals to the Prince that his ancestors were once pirates who were brought to Narnia by magic.
Aslan: "'Do you mark this all well, King Caspian?'"
Caspian: "'I do indeed, Sir. I was wishing that I came of a more honourable lineage.'"
Aslan: "'You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve. And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor in earth. Be content.'"
This is a perfect picture of the attitude we need to have on a daily basis. Yes, we should be proud that we are humans made in God's very own image, but we must also remember that it was our first parents who planted the seeds of every evil and destructive element in our world today. If we are too proud, we will easily fall into sin. If we are too shamed, we will lose sight of the amazing life God has planned out for us.
What life? Well for Caspian, it was a chance to reclaim his rightful place as the King of Narnia. For us, it is a chance to reclaim our world for the one true King of Kings - Jesus Christ.
Let the adventure begin!
Head: What you need to know about this truth
As we grow in our faith, our perception of Christ will grow as well. Because of this, we will also have a better understanding of being made in the image of God, yet still in our sinful state. Finally, we have a calling much like Prince Caspian in our lives to reclaim the world for the King of Kings!
Heart: What you need to feel about this truth
Excited and passionate about fulfilling the amazing mission God has given us.
Hands: What you need to do about this truth
Reclaiming Christ's rightful rule and reign starts and ends with prayer. Take some time this week to pray for God's Kingdom to be advanced in your life, and in the lives of everyone you come across.
Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with to provide resources for youth leaders and students. Dare 2 Share exists to energize and equip teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries or the GameDay youth conference tour, please visit www.dare2share.org. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.