Day 33: Death of Self
Read: Romans 7:1-6
One of my favorite stories as a child was C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Four siblings discover the wintry land of Narnia when they enter an old wardrobe. Inside, many exciting things await them, such as talking beavers, fauns, a prophecy, and more. While in Narnia, one brother, Edmund, wanders off from the group. He meets a witch, who is the treacherous queen of Narnia. She promises Edmund power and sweet treats if he will direct her to his siblings. Wanting all of the “good things” she offers, Edmund betrays his siblings and tells her where they are. Meanwhile, his siblings meet the king of Narnia, a lion named Aslan.
The laws that govern Narnia are called Deep Magic, and they condemn a traitor like Edmund to death at the hands of the witch. The witch confronts Aslan about keeping justice, and they work out a deal secretly that allows Edmund to live. He is restored to his siblings.
Aslan, however, leaves the children late that night. He goes to the stone table. In the laws of the Deep Magic, those who betray others are killed on this table to maintain justice in Narnia. Waiting for Aslan is the witch, who kills him on the stone table–in Edmund’s place! In the morning, Aslan comes back to life, and the stone table cracks. By fulfilling the law of the Deep Magic and defeating death, Aslan removes the Deep Magic’s power over everyone.
Author C.S. Lewis used Aslan’s act of sacrifice to represent the death of Christ. By fulfilling justice, and exhibiting mercy to a traitor like Edmund, Aslan shows how Christ died for us to the law. Paul explains this concept in Romans 7:1-6. He says that in the past our sinful nature deserved death and needed to be destroyed “so that you might belong to another” (verse 4). When Christ died, he took on our sin nature so that his death would fulfill justice, and free us to live in a different way. The law separated us from God, but through Christ’s sacrifice, we can be reunited with Him.
Once we are dead to our past sinfulness, we can live by the Spirit. This frees us to live a totally different kind of life, one that is not controlled by the old law. Living by the Spirit means we no longer controlled by unlawful behaviors. Instead, we can live with the power to produce the righteousness that comes from God. We are unbound and free. We can be like Edmund, who became a powerful warrior in Aslan’s army once his life was redeemed.
Faith in Christ is more than do’s and don’ts. Do you still live like you are under the “law” even though you have already died to it? How can you allow God to produce the fruit of righteousness in you instead of allowing yourself to still act like you are bound to the law?
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