Monday, March 19, 2012
"The Deepest Magic"
by Herb Mueller
In the movie, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (and C.S. Lewis’s book by the same name) Aslan refers to the “deeper magic” of the stone table: When an innocent victim offers himself to death in place of one who is guilty of treachery, the guilt is atoned for and the innocent one is raised to life. The “deep magic” of the stone table is the reality underlying everything else in the imaginary world of Narnia.
For those who have not read the book or seen the movie, the story is both fantasy and an allegory of the Gospel: On the cross the innocent victim offered Himself to death in place of all of us, and was raised to life that we might be forgiven and have eternal life.
“While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. … God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6,8)
Our prayer is that those who see the movie or read the book would be reminded of the truth of Christ’s sacrifice. Perhaps you can point people you know in that direction. But remember, the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection for us is not fantasy, not simply a story, not even magic, but it is reality, the deepest reality of all.
We live our lives from day to day in what we call “the real world.” In the “real world” you have to “work for a living,” “watch your back,” and “take care of your own.” In the “real world” we go to work, get married, have kids, take care of a house and yard, go out with friends, save for the future, etc.
In the “real world” the price of gas is rising, we don’t have enough money (or we think we don’t), and we have to watch for the person who (we think) “has it in for us.” What’s more, we all have to “take responsibility” for our own actions.
Behind these day to day realities you will also find the less tangible, but often more important, realities of love, commitment, trust, forgiveness, reliability, happiness, satisfaction and contentment. These can also be destroyed by hate, infidelity, holding grudges, fear, impatience and greed.
As important as these are, the deepest realities of all are those revealed to us in God’s Word. They are revealed, we say, because they are not always obvious to the naked eye. In fact, these realities are only received through faith in God’s promises.
But that does not make them any less real. For though we cannot always see him with our physical eyes, God is not far off in a fantasy world. God is here and He is real. He speaks in His Word (and we hear by faith). More than that, He has come into our world, into our human life in Jesus Christ. We believe what we hear His Word say about Him.
Jesus lived a perfect life among us. Jesus offered Himself the innocent victim in our place, because of our hate, our fear, our grudges, our infidelity, impatience and greed. Jesus rose from the dead to forgive our failure and to raise us up to eternal life. In Him we find true love, real commitment, deep trust, lasting forgiveness, the greatest reliability, true happiness, satisfaction and contentment.
The death and the resurrection of Jesus is the deep reality that is underneath everything else. He calls us to follow Him. He promises to be with us always. He assures us of our place in the family of God. In Him we are truly alive! It’s not fantasy, but it’s more real than anything else can be.
We live in this reality when we hear and believe the promises of God’s Word. May God keep you there now and always!