VDT: From lamb to lion

C. S. Lewis, his worlds, and his faith.

Moderators: coracle, Lady Arwen

VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 17, 2009 3:45 pm

Many of you have mentioned the importance of the "lamb-to-lion" scene in the book and believe it must appear in the movie, as is. :) But what is the real significance of this scene? What Christian elements appear? Does the scene seem like an "appendix" to the rest of the novel? Or is it important to the book as a whole? And why?

The major elements in this scene
A lamb appears, "so white . . . that even with their eagles' eyes they could hardly look at it."

The lamb offers them breakfast: roasted fish.

The lamb says, "There is a way into my country from all the worlds."

The lamb becomes "tawny gold" and changes into Aslan, "towering above them and scattering light from his mane."

Aslan tells them the way into his country "'lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder.'"

"'Are--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.'"

Source: C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Chronicles of Narnia: Book Five, New York: HarperCollins, 1994, 245-47.
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Sep 17, 2009 5:04 pm

Funny you should bring up this scene. ;) I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I don’t have answers to all of the questions you asked but I’ll state what I’ve been thinking about lately. The fish on the fire reminds me of when Jesus appeared to the disciples on the beach and says “Come and have breakfast” (John 21). Aslan also prepares fish on a fire and invites the children to come and eat. This may be stretching it a little but in the Bible story Jesus gives Peter final instructions (Feed my lambs and follow me) and Aslan also gives Lucy and Edmund final instructions. I don’t know if it means anything that lambs and sheep are mentioned several times in the text and Aslan appears as a lamb. They don’t seem to be related since the lamb in one respect is worthy of worship and in the lambs and sheep are something that need to be taken care of. Lucy asks if Eustace will be allowed to come back and Peter wants to know how John will die. Both of them get an answer that basically means “Mind your own business.” I’m really not sure why Lewis has Aslan appearing as a Lamb and changing into a Lion. It is sort of the reverse of Revelation 5:5-6 where the Lion of Judah is explained to be worthy of opening the scroll and then a Lamb appears instead of a Lion. I think the Lamb serves as a clue as to Aslan’s name in our world. I haven’t any ideas about the river part. :-\
Image
Silver Chair Reading Group
NW sister to Movie Aristotle & daughter of the King
User avatar
Pattertwigs Pal
Moderator
Cookie Queen of NarniaWeb
 
Posts: 5187
Joined: May 16, 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Gender: Female

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby narnian1 » Sep 17, 2009 6:19 pm

I think this passage sort of feels like and appendix, but I also think it's important to the whole story as it reveals more characteristics of Aslan.
I think Lewis wrote here to make the connection to the bible in our world, versus Narnia.

Aslan first appears as a lamb, Jesus is the Lamb of God:
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29 (also see Isaiah 53)

In Narnia Aslan died for Edmund, to redeem him. In our world Jesus did it, not just for one man, but for all.

The food: fish,
I guess it's even an easier connection with Jesus, (the feeding of the five thousand, fish and bread).

A way to him from all worlds, Lewis clearly is tying this with Christianity, as is his belief. The Lamb is the way, Jesus is the way.

Aslan then turns into a lion again,
Jesus is the lion of the tribe of Judah- worthy of all praise, as Pattertwig mentioned above.

Not sure the river actually means anything specifically,
I think Lewis just used it to come to his next point: The Great Bridge Builder.
In other words Aslan is the path, in the same way as Jesus is the Way.

Then next is most important,
Edmund asks if Aslan is in our world too, Aslan replies with two words: "I Am"
Those two words are very powerful in the bible concerning God/Jesus.

God told Moses that His name is "I Am"
Jesus later in his ministry uses "I am...." frequently, therefore connecting himself with God himself as one.


(remembering that the books are not allegories, but supposals. Not everything has a definite meaning from Narnia to our world).
User avatar
narnian1
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 1983
Joined: Apr 26, 2008
Gender: Male

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 18, 2009 1:54 pm

Lots of excellent ideas! :ymapplause:

Okay, you're both wondering about the river. I'll just say this [and it does mean something!]. For those who've read Pilgrim's Progress, remember what happens in the final scenes? What do Christian and Hopeful do before they enter heaven? ;) In Joshua, what lies between the wilderness and the Promised Land? ;)
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby Gladius » Sep 18, 2009 7:20 pm

220chrisTian wrote:Okay, you're both wondering about the river. I'll just say this [and it does mean something!]. For those who've read Pilgrim's Progress, remember what happens in the final scenes? What do Christian and Hopeful do before they enter heaven? ;) In Joshua, what lies between the wilderness and the Promised Land? ;)


It's the Jordan, of course! The same idea also lies behind a lot of hymns, like "On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand" and "Deep River."

I tried to post here yesterday, and lost yet another post not by a computer glitch, but by sheer stupidity...I'm good at that. X( I like narnian1's idea about the lamb showing another side of Aslan. As Christians we often fall into thinking of God dichotomously, as either merciful or just, either sovereign or serving. We are in constant need of reminders from scripture as to what God's character really is. In the same way, if all we saw of Aslan was his lion's form, we might have supposed that he was only strenth, only power, only majesty and glory, but when the lion lies down with lamb we see that he is both king and servant, both merciful and mighty, both Creator and Created.

So this is a tremendously important scene to me. I hope they do it well. :-s
Gladius
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Jun 11, 2007

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 19, 2009 11:09 am

Gladius wrote:
220chrisTian wrote:Okay, you're both wondering about the river. I'll just say this [and it does mean something!]. For those who've read Pilgrim's Progress, remember what happens in the final scenes? What do Christian and Hopeful do before they enter heaven? ;) In Joshua, what lies between the wilderness and the Promised Land? ;)
It's the Jordan, of course! The same idea also lies behind a lot of hymns, like "On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand" and "Deep River."
Yes! :ymapplause: So what's the significance of Jordan in the Bible and in these hymns? And how does this river tie in with Aslan as the "great Bridge Builder"? ;)

Gladius wrote:We are in constant need of reminders from scripture as to what God's character really is. In the same way, if all we saw of Aslan was his lion's form, we might have supposed that he was only strenth, only power, only majesty and glory, but when the lion lies down with lamb we see that he is both king and servant, both merciful and mighty, both Creator and Created.
Exactly! God is both lion and lamb, "both king and servant, both merciful and mighty." :) However, I don't think he's "both Creator and Created." The Creator was made. See John 19:7, Romans 1:3, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 5:20, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 3:13, 4:4, Philippians 2:7, Hebrews 1:4, 2:7, 9, 17, 5:9, 6:20, 7:16, 26. ;)
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby Gladius » Sep 19, 2009 4:59 pm

220chrisTian wrote:However, I don't think he's "both Creator and Created." The Creator was made. See John 19:7, Romans 1:3, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 5:20, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 3:13, 4:4, Philippians 2:7, Hebrews 1:4, 2:7, 9, 17, 5:9, 6:20, 7:16, 26. ;)


I don't mean that Christ was created, but rather that his earthly body was created. That is, he became part of creation. I probably could have stated that more lucidly, but "both Creator and Created" has such a nice Chestertonian ring to it! ;)
Gladius
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Jun 11, 2007

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 20, 2009 1:39 pm

Gladius wrote:I don't mean that Christ was created, but rather that his earthly body was created. That is, he became part of creation. I probably could have stated that more lucidly, but "both Creator and Created" has such a nice Chestertonian ring to it! ;)
Okay. Sorry for any confusion. ;) But I can't comment on G. K. Chesterton. I haven't read anything by him. :ymblushing: What do you recommend? :) And yes, Jesus became part of His creation! That's an essential part of the gospel! :ymapplause: Check out Philippians 2:5-11...
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby Gladius » Sep 20, 2009 3:17 pm

This reminds of me of the part in The Horse and His Boy where Aslan comes to visit Aravis and the Horses at the Hermit's. He says, "Now Bree, you poor, proud, frightened Horse, draw near. Nearer still, my son. Do not dare not to dare. Touch me. Smell me. Here are paws, here is my tail, these are my whiskers. I am a true Beast." What a picture of Christ, our great High Priest, who was "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Heb. 4:15). :D

On Chesterton:
I haven't read his works as widely as some on Narniaweb have, but I've read a few. Do you like poetry? If you do, I cannot recommend The Ballad of the White Horse highly enough. It's the tale of Alfred and the Danes, and the battle of Ethandune, and it is--how do I say it?--Masterful! Powerful! Sublime! :ymhug: Other favorites include Orthodoxy (theology/philosophy), The Man Who was Thursday(sort of a metaphysical spy thriller), Manalive (a treatise on living), and the Father Brown mysteries, which are absolutely beyond comparison.

Of course, you can't take everything he says for granted; as with any author, you must be discerning. But you seem to be pretty good at that. ;)

Edit:

I forgot to answer your question about the Jordan. My idea is that, just as the Jordan had to be crossed before the Israelites could enter the Promised Land, Christians must ford the Jordan of death to attain Heaven. But this is where I depart from the common idea of the Jordan; Christians do not have to go through physical death to become citizens of the City of God. Enoch didn't. Elijah didn't. The death we must must experience is death to sin and our old nature. This is why Christ is the great bridge-builder--because we can't accomplish our salvation any more than Eustace could change his dragon's scales for human skin. Our conversions are truly acts of God; miracles, not formulas.
Gladius
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Jun 11, 2007

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby aslansothername » Sep 20, 2009 5:46 pm

As my user name suggests, this scene is very important to me. The refrence to Aslan having another name in our world is such a clear picture of Christ. But, to the river and Alsan being the "Great Bridge Builder" it is only though Christ and His death on the Cross that we are able to get to heaven. The Cross is the only bridge, and Christ built it at His death and resurrection. Aslan, I believe is showing the same, since I believe that he represents Christ, then he(Aslan) is the only way.
Image
Want to become an informed American teen?
http://www.t4at.webs.com/
User avatar
aslansothername
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Sep 05, 2009
Location: Texas, as a proud homeschool student
Gender: Female

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 21, 2009 12:50 pm

Gladius: I always wanted to read Chesterton's The Man who was Thursday. :)

Welcome to the forum, aslansothername! :ymhug: And nice username! ;)

Gladius wrote:He says, "Now Bree, you poor, proud, frightened Horse, draw near. Nearer still, my son. Do not dare not to dare. Touch me. Smell me. Here are paws, here is my tail, these are my whiskers. I am a true Beast."
You know what this also reminds me of? Thomas' encounter with Jesus in John 20:26-29. ;)

Gladius wrote:My idea is that, just as the Jordan had to be crossed before the Israelites could enter the Promised Land, Christians must ford the Jordan of death to attain Heaven. But this is where I depart from the common idea of the Jordan; Christians to not have to go through physical death to become citizens of the City of God. Enoch didn't. Elijah didn't. The death we must must experience is death to sin and our old nature. This is why Christ is the great bridge-builder--because we can't accomplish our salvation any more than Eustace could change his dragon's scales for human skin. Our conversions are truly acts of God; miracles, not formulas.
aslansothername wrote:But, to the river and Alsan being the "Great Bridge Builder" it is only though Christ and His death on the Cross that we are able to get to heaven. The Cross is the only bridge, and Christ built it at His death and resurrection. Aslan, I believe is showing the same, since I believe that he represents Christ, then he(Aslan) is the only way.
Both of you have pointed out a lot in this scene! :ymapplause: But consider that there are two ways in which "Christ is the great bridge-builder," two levels of salvation, two ways in which we pass from death to life. Biblical typology is important here. ;)

1. The Passover in Exodus = the cross of Christ. From being dead in sins, we're given new and eternal life. This is where salvation begins. :ymapplause:
2. The Promised Land in Joshua = heaven. This is salvation complete, for Christ is also the "bridge-builder" to heaven. Without the blood of Jesus on our souls, we cannot enter heaven. ;)

Gladius, you said "Christians to not have to go through physical death to become citizens of the City of God. Enoch didn't. Elijah didn't." You're right. I think Reepicheep represents Enoch and Elijah in VDT. But consider all the thousands and millions since Christ's resurrection who had to die to enter heaven! What does 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 say? "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord." [NKJV] :)

The river Jordan: look at Genesis 32:10 [Jacob], Joshua 2 and 4, Judges 7 and 12, 2 Samuel 17:22 [King David], 2 Kings 2 [Elijah]; Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3, John 1 [John the Baptist and Jesus]. The word literally means "descender" in Hebrew. Throughout the Bible it signifies death. But in a good way... ;)
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby Gladius » Sep 22, 2009 5:18 am

Yes, we have to go through physical death to be with Christ; my point is that if you are saved, you are a citizen of heaven, albeit a displaced citizen, right now! We are in God's kingdom now; his rule is not always evident, but it is real, and it is all encompassing. Our God is King of all things. That's why I say the Jordan is to me a symbol of death to sin rather than physical death; not because I think we're not going to die physically, but rather because death to sin is a much larger and more important fact than the decay of our spiritual houses. This is why Christ says, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Mat. 10:28)

As I side note, who do you think this Mat. 10:28 refers to? I used to suppose that it was Satan who has the power to destroy body and soul, but recently I've come to see that he has no such power unless God gives it to him. So, does this passage actually refer to God rather than Satan?
Gladius
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Jun 11, 2007

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby aslansothername » Sep 22, 2009 5:29 am

True that Satan does not have that kind of power unless God gives it to him, but Satan is able to tempt us. So, if he tempts us to sin and reject God, and the saving grace of Jesus he has destroyed us both in soul (because our soul would go to hell when we died) and body in hell. Think of how much pain there will be in hell.
But back to a Narnia not, I do think the Reepicheep reminds us of Enoch or Elijah. Also as Gladius said, we are part of the kingdom of Christ, when you get saved. Great comments on this form!!!
Image
Want to become an informed American teen?
http://www.t4at.webs.com/
User avatar
aslansothername
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Sep 05, 2009
Location: Texas, as a proud homeschool student
Gender: Female

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 22, 2009 2:39 pm

Gladius and aslansothername: This is how I read Matthew 10:28: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." I think "able to destroy both soul and body in hell" refers to God, not Satan. Jesus is telling us to fear God rather than man, who can only "kill the body." I don't think He would ever tell us to fear the devil. We're told frequently not to fear the devil. Yes, he's crafty, certainly more than us--in the flesh. But because God's Spirit dwells in us, "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world" [1 John 4:4]; "he" refers to the devil, not man, since Satan is "the prince of this world" [John 12:31, 16:11, 1 Cor 2:6]. "The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly" [Rom 16:20]. "They overcame him [devil] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony" [Rev 12:11]. Jesus Christ defeated Satan on the cross! And in Christ we have victory! :ymapplause:
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby Gladius » Sep 22, 2009 6:46 pm

Absolutely! I have noticed a tendency, in myself and in a lot of other Christians (especially Evangelicals, and even more especially my own Southern Baptists) to attribute way more power to Satan than he actually has. I guess it's sort of a cop-out--rather than [i]mea culpa[i/] we say, "The Devil made me do it!"

*Pondering how to get back on-topic...this has to tie in with the Lamb scene somehow!*

Maybe not. :-\

By the way, welcome to the forum, aslansother name! I haven't been ignoring your posts; I just agree with them. :D
Gladius
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Jun 11, 2007

Re: VDT: From lamb to lion

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 23, 2009 11:00 am

Gladius wrote:I have noticed a tendency, in myself and in a lot of other Christians (especially Evangelicals, and even more especially my own Southern Baptists) to attribute way more power to Satan than he actually has. I guess it's sort of a cop-out--rather than [i]mea culpa[i/] we say, "The Devil made me do it!"
Exactly... ;)

Gladius wrote:*Pondering how to get back on-topic...this has to tie in with the Lamb scene somehow!* Maybe not. :-\
Well, I think there's a way. ;)

1. What does the lamb represent in the Bible? Sacrifice! And what happens in LWW? Sacrifice! So why does Aslan appear as a lamb in VDT? Do you see any sacrificial imagery in that book, any references to Aslan's sacrifice in LWW? :)
2. What does the lion represent in the Bible? Strength and victory! What do you see of this in LWW and VDT? :)
3. Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was the key to his complete victory over sin, death, and hell. It's the same with us. Spiritual self-sacrifice is our key to victory over temptation and sin. Sacrifice = victory! So apply this to VDT... :)
User avatar
220chrisTian
NarniaWeb Guru
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Mar 23, 2009
Location: U.S.
Gender: Female

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest