I am Edmund
I’m a huge fan of The Chronicles of Narnia. C.S. Lewis beautifully captures our attention with thoughtful illustrations and creative depictions of deep truths. One of my favorite scenes Lewis captures so well is the sacrificial nature of Aslan at the stone table. If you don’t know the scene, let me quickly fill you in (spoiler alert!).
Four children find a magical wardrobe that leads to Narnia. Narnia is a world filled with wonder, talking animals, and beautiful scenery, but it has a great problem. The White Witch has covered Narnia in an eternal snow, the king and creator of the land, Aslan, is gone, and the people of the land have been hopeless for hundreds of years! But there is hope. Written on stone there is a prophecy about two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve coming and delivering Narnia from their shackles. Once the four children enter into Narnia, the world is forever changed.
Something happens though. One of the sons, Edmund, trusts in the White Witch for joy. Being allured by sweets and power, Edmund desires the White Witch and tries to get his siblings to join him. After a series of conflicts, Edmund realizes he is in the wrong, but he’s enslaved to the White Witch! The only way he escapes the Witch is when his siblings, along with Narnia soldiers, come to his aid and release him from jail.
Edmund is reunited with his family, but there is still tension in the air. According to the law of the land—the law that Aslan wrote—blood is required. Edmund agreed to follow the White Witch, and to the White Witch to he belongs. This is a hopeless situation.
Aslan offers himself instead of Edmund as payment for Edmund’s choice. Edmund is guilty, a traitor, and his blood is required to pay for his actions, but Aslan offers to go in his place. The White Witch accepts Aslan’s offer. This is where we find ourselves at the stone table.
After being beaten, mocked, tied up, and dragged, the great lion Aslan is shaved, thrown onto the stone table, and stabbed with a blade. Aslan’s eyes grow dim as his blood covers the stone table from where blood payment is offered. Pretty gruesome, right? If I ended there you would have no desire to read The Chronicles of Narnia and ask that I never write again! But the plot continues…
After some time, Aslan’s bonds are broken, and he comes back to life! Aslan returns to the White Witch and defeats her and all her followers, bringing an end to the eternal winter! But how is this so?
In the movie of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, this scene is powerfully narrated through the character of Aslan when he says: “If the Witch knew the true meaning of sacrifice, she might have interpreted the deep magic differently. That when a willing victim who has committed no treachery is killed in a traitor’s stead, the stone table will crack, and even death itself will turn backwards! (emphasis mine)”
Aslan was able to defeat the White Witch because the grave had no authority over him. Aslan was a guiltless, blameless, perfect sacrifice who willingly died for a guilty, extremely blameful, shameful person, Edmund. The stone table represents the place where justice for crimes is finished. The fact that the stone table was cracked, symbolizes that perfect justice has been satisfied. In order for justice to be satisfied, and death to be undone, the strong lion became a spotless, sacrificial lamb.
God’s Word gives us a greater scene, a better scene. C.S. Lewis captures it well, but nothing beats God’s story himself. The great lion Aslan represents Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the perfect, spotless, pure character in our story. Jesus Christ satisfies God’s wrath perfectly. And If Aslan represents Jesus in the story, that makes Edmund…you and me.
We are the guilty traitors. We pursue power and other desires at the expense of our family and friends because we are enticed by our White Witch—Satan. If Edmund represents us, that means you and I are required to pay for our own treachery. The stone table calls for our blood…but God’s Word says:
“Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5 ESV).
Like Aslan, Jesus bore our griefs, bore our sorrows. Aslan was shaved, Jesus was crowned with thorns. Aslan’s blood dripped on the stone table; Jesus died on the cross. In the shadow of the cross of a dying Jesus is a guilty Edmund—you and me. When you see Jesus as your sacrifice, be reminded that he was your substitute. Sacrifice = substitute. Because Jesus died on the cross as a perfect sacrifice, death was undone, wrath was satisfied. Jesus had you in mind with every hit of the hammer used to drive in the nails to his hands.
What is our conclusion? Where do we go from here? The first step is to say your name—I am Edmund. Once you say your name, you are given a great gift, a new name! Edmund’s redemption is found in the name Aslan gives him at the end of the story—Edmund the Just. Edmund knows justice because he sees how much justice it took to save him—a sacrificed lion. Your new name is similar, but better. Your new name is, Child of God.
Pray to God knowing that a spotless, willing, pure sacrifice went to the stone table for you. Pray knowing that Jesus’ sacrifice was a substitute for you. Pray knowing justice has been satisfied because the Lion of Judah has conquered the grave.
 Andrew Adamson. The Lion the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Orlando, FL: Walt Disney Pictures, Walden Media (2005).