This post is written by Jared Bumpers and is published as a companion to Unit 9, Session 6 of The Gospel Project for Adults Vol. 3 (Spring 2022): From Conquest to a Kingdom.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is probably C. S. Lewis’s most famous work. In the book, Lucy Pevensie–one of the four Pevensie siblings–discovers a magical wardrobe that transports her to a land called Narnia. At first, her three siblings (Peter, Edmund, and Susan) do not believe her. Her brother Edmund is the next child to discover Narnia when he follows Lucy into the wardrobe. On his first visit to Narnia, he meets the White Witch. The White Witch, the evil “queen” of Narnia, offers Edmund enchanted turkish delights, which give him an insatiable desire for the sweets. Using the dessert as leverage, the queen convinces Edmund to bring his siblings back to meet her.
Back in their own world, Lucy tries again to convince her older siblings that Narnia is real, relying on Edmund to support her. Edmund lies and says he was just pretending, which crushes Lucy. Finally, the four siblings enter Narnia together while hiding in the wardrobe from guests. Edmund betrays his siblings to the White Witch, who enslaves him, but he is eventually rescued by Aslan’s followers. However, the White Witch claims Edmund’s life belongs to her. According to the Deep Magic of Narnia, the life of a traitor must be forfeited to the queen. Aslan, the king of Narnia, trades his life for Edmund. The White Witch kills Aslan on the Stone Table and returns to her caste, thinking she has finally defeated the lion, but she was unaware of the Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time: if an innocent offers his or her own life in exchange for a traitor, the magic would reverse death itself and restore the innocent victim to life. Aslan returns from the dead, defeats the White Witch, and saves the Pevensie children and Narnia.
Lewis’s work is a thinly-veiled allegory of the Christian faith. Like Edmund, every person is a “traitor” who deserves death. Because we are sinners who reject God’s rule and disobey God’s commands, our lives have been forfeited. Death is our reward (Romans 6:23).
Like Aslan, Jesus was innocent. As the eternally-begotten Son of God, Jesus never sinned, yet He willingly gave His life to save sinners. His death reversed death itself, as He rose from the grave in victory. The curse of sin was undone. Death was defeated. Christ is victorious!
Like the Pevensie children, we benefit from Christ’s sacrifice. We are saved by His death and resurrection. Through faith in Jesus, we receive eternal life and share in His victory over sin. Furthermore, we join Him in sharing the good news of salvation. All who repent of their sin and trust Christ can share in His victory over sin and death.
Yes, sin is real and death is inescapable, “but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:56)!
Jared Bumpers (Unit 9, Sessions 1-2,6) serves as Assistant Professor of Preaching and Evangelism at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri . He also serves on the preaching team at Fellowship KC in the Parkville area. He is married to Kim, and together they have four children: McCartnie, Rush, Maverick, and Jett.
 C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2008).