Chronicles of Narnia, The
Main Point of Discussion: The death of Jesus was gruesome and terrible, but it led to total victory through His resurrection – a resurrection that He told His disciples about before it happened.
The Movie Clip: Aslan’s Sacrifice and Resurrection
The Chronicles of Narnia series have been a popular series since the early 1950’s when it was a book. There have been several movie adaptations since then, but none as popular as the trilogy that began in 2005 with the first of the series, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This film follows the Pevensie children from war-torn Britain through the magical wardrobe into the land of Narnia where a Christ-like figure named Aslan leads the creatures he loves.
Introducing the Clip:
I want to show you the pivotal scene from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In this clip, we are going to see the sacrifice, death, and resurrection of Aslan the Lion, the Creator of Narnia. In this clip, we learn that Narnian law demands that all traitors are to be given as “property” to the White Witch, and this means Edmond, one of the Pevensie children. Instead of letting Edmond die, Aslan offers himself to the White Witch in the boy’s place. We’ll see the sacrifice of Aslan…and what happens after that.
BEGIN CLIP AT 1 hour 37 minutes and 38 seconds (in Chapter 17).
Unlike the rest of our MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSIONS, this is an extended scene; it covers Chapters 17, 18, 19, and the beginning of 20. You DO NOT have to show this much, but we recommend showing it all because of all the subtle nuances common between the movie and the resurrection story (the fear of the followers of Jesus and Aslan, the ground shaking, the darkness, and ultimately, the resurrection of Jesus and Aslan). Further, by showing it all, you are able to really draw in students to the greater story.
Here is a brief synopsis of the content of Chapters 17-20:
Chapter 17 (Aslan’s Sacrifice): From a hiding place, Lucy and Susan watch the sacrifice and death of Aslan at the hands of the evil White Witch. They actually see him being taunted, shaved, ridiculed, and killed.
Chapter 18 (You Have to Lead Us): Peter and Edmund are notified of Aslan’s death and discuss going to war with the White Witch who has now gathered her army to conquer all of Narnia now that Aslan is no longer alive.
Chapter 19 (Battle for Narnia): This chapter shows the ensuing battle between the followers of Aslan and the followers of the White Witch. This battle scene does include some violence, so be aware.
Chapter 20 (Aslan’s Resurrection): The movie returns to the stone altar where Aslan lays dead underneath a weeping Lucy and Susan. They eventually stand to leave, and when their backs are turned to him, the ground shakes, the altar splits, and Aslan returns to life, victorious. He tells them to climb on his back, and roars aloud.
END CLIP AT 1 hour 54 minutes and 54 seconds.
Susan and Lucy watched as Aslan sacrificed himself for their brother Edmond and all of Narnia. That must have been horrific to watch, yet their devotion to Aslan would not let them leave, even after they knew he was dead. Susan then tells Lucy that Aslan knew what he doing and as they start to leave, they experience the resurrection of Aslan…and find him alive! This clip uses a lot of imagery from the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, so let’s take a look at that story now.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HEREfor a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we begin, let’s all take a second to share our names and describe the moment when we received the biggest surprise in our life.
- ASK A FEW: For those of you familiar with the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, could you see any parallels between His story and the clip you just watched? (Leaders – In both stories, followers watched their leader die, evil seem to triumph, the ground shake, the altar break apart, and the resurrection of the leader.)
- ASK A FEW: Susan and Lucy were close friends of Aslan. How hard do you think it was for them to watch him die at the hands of the White Witch? Could you have stayed and watched or not?
- ASK A FEW: What do you think was going through their minds when they heard the altar crack, and they turned to see Aslan gone?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think these two girls expected Aslan to return from the dead? Why or why not?
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: If you had experienced what Susan and Lucy experienced, would you believe it? Why or why not?
Read the following passage:
Luke 23:44- Luke 24:12
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
The Roman centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely, this man was the Son of God.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.
It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.
But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
Tonight we had the opportunity to watch an extended scene from a powerful movie, a movie based on the greatest story ever told. We then spent some time in our small groups talking about the similarities between Aslan’s story and that of Jesus’ story.
Like Susan and Lucy, we are confronted with the resurrection of our leader, Jesus. He prophesized His death and resurrection, and then fulfilled it! Amazing!
Without a doubt, the resurrection of Jesus is the greatest, most important aspect of the Christian faith. Without a resurrection, we have a dead god like most other world religions. But instead, because of Jesus’ resurrection, our God is alive today!
What a story! There is a God, and He loves us. He loves us so much, He’s willing to be tortured, mocked, beaten, and hung on a cross. He’s willing to face death to give us life. That is sacrifice. Nobody understands it more than Jesus.
As we go our separate ways, don’t think of this story as “just another story.” Think about how your life would be different if it never happened. Think about what you should do because this event truly happened.
For some of you, you need to put your trust in Jesus as your Savior. If that’s you, I invite you to stay around and speak to one of our leaders. They’d be happy to talk with you about how to place your faith and trust in Him.
Close in Prayer
Idea by Melisa Synder; written by David R. Smith
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.