Christ: Savior, Warrior, Lamb, Lion, and the Most Prescious Serpent


Today while reading other blogs I came across Avery’s post concerning his meeting with Dr. Robinson. In this post, Avery retold the story of the Dragon quite well and I recommend you go and read it. I am pretty sure that we have all heard of the story so I wont re-post it here. The following is what spawned out of a comment to Avery that I figured would be good to share with all of you.

Just as I recently re-read The Horse and his Boy, I also re-read the Silver Chair. As you know these stories were meant to share the gospel (of Christianity) in the form of metaphor to children and adults as the books progressed. The following passage from “The Silver Chair” is an interesting read regarding the story of the Dragon.

But first some background information, Eustace Scrub, Jane Pole, and Puddleglum have just rescued Prince Rillian from his enchantment that had him believing he was something he was not for 23 hours of every day. In order to save him, they traveled through this “Underland” – a world beneath the surface of the earth that has no natural light, it is only artificially lit. They have just rescued the prince who then destroyed the chair, which imprisoned him for that one hour of his sanity each day. Immediately following this the enchantress, the queen of underland, came in and seeing the situation started to dull their minds with soft words, an enchanted fire and smooth music. While she was doing this Rillian mentioned Narnia and that he was the prince regent of that land. The following is the dialogue that takes place.

“Narnia?” she said. “Narnia? I have often heard your Lordship utter that name in your
ravings. Dear Prince, you are very sick. There is no land called Narnia.”

“Yes there is, though, Ma’am,” said Puddleglum. “You see, I happen to have lived there
all my life.”

“Indeed,” said the Witch. “Tell me, I pray you, where that country is?”

“Up there,” said Puddleglum, stoutly, pointing overhead. “I – I don’t know exactly

“How?” said the Queen, with a kind, soft, musical laugh. “Is there a country up among
the stones and mortar of the roof?”

“No,” said Puddleglum, struggling a little to get his breath. “It’s in Overworld.”

“And what, or where, pray is this “Narnia?” she said. “Narnia? I have often heard your Lordship utter that name in your ravings. Dear Prince, you are very sick. There is no land called Narnia.”

“Yes there is, though, Ma’am,” said Puddleglum. “You see, I happen to have lived there
all my life.”

“Indeed,” said the Witch. “Tell me, I pray you, where that country is?”

“Up there,” said Puddleglum, stoutly, pointing overhead. “I – I don’t know exactly

“How?” said the Queen, with a kind, soft, musical laugh. “Is there a country up among
the stones and mortar of the roof?”

“No,” said Puddleglum, struggling a little to get his breath. “It’s in Overworld.”

“And what, or where, pray is this . . . how do you call it. . . Overworld?”

“Oh, don’t be so silly,” said Scrubb, who was fighting hard against the enchantment of the sweet smell and the thrumming. “As if you didn’t know! It’s up above, up where you can see the sky and the sun and the stars. Why, you’ve been there yourself. We met you

“I cry you mercy, little brother,” laughed the Witch (you couldn’t have heard a lovelier
laugh). “I have no memory of that meeting. But we often meet our friends in strange
places when we dream. And unless all dreamed alike, you must not ask them to
remember it.”

“Madam,” said the Prince sternly, “I have already told your Grace that I am the King’s
son of Narnia.”

“And shalt be, dear friend,” said the Witch in a soothing voice, as if she was humouring a
child, “shalt be king of many imagined lands in thy fancies.”

“We’ve been there, too,” snapped Jill. She was very angry because she could feel
enchantment getting hold of her every moment. But of course the very fact that she could
still feel it, showed that it had not yet fully worked.

“And thou art Queen of Narnia too, I doubt not, pretty one,” said the Witch in the same
coaxing, half-mocking tone.

“I’m nothing of the sort,” said Jill, stamping her foot. “We come from another world.”

“Why, this is a prettier game than the other,” said the Witch. “Tell us, little maid, where is this other world? What ships and chariots go between it and ours?”

Of course a lot of things darted into Jill’s head at once: Experiment House, Adela
Pennyfather, her own home, radio-sets, cinemas, cars, aeroplanes, ration-books, queues.
But they seemed dim and far away. (Thrum thrum – thrum – went the strings of the
Witch’s instrument.) Jill couldn’t remember the names of the things in our world. And this
time it didn’t come into her head that she was being enchanted, for now the magic was in
its full strength; and of course, the more enchanted you get, the more certain you feel that
you are not enchanted at all. She found herself saying (and at the moment it was a relief
to say):

“No. I suppose that other world must be all a dream.”

“Yes. It is all a dream,” said the Witch, always thrumming.

“Yes, all a dream,” said Jill.

“There never was such a world,” said the Witch.

“No,” said Jill and Scrubb, “never was such a world.”

“There never was any world but mine,” said the Witch.

“There never was any world but yours,” said they.

Puddleglum was still fighting hard. “I don’t know rightly what you all mean by a world,”
he said, talking like a man who hasn’t enough air. “But you can play that fiddle till your
fingers drop off, and still you won’t make me forget Narnia; and the whole Overworld
too. We’ll never see it again, I shouldn’t wonder. You may have blotted it out and turned
it dark like this, for all I know. Nothing more likely. But I know I was there once. I’ve
seen the sky full of stars. I’ve seen the sun coming up out of the sea of a morning and
sinking behind the mountains at night. And I’ve seen him up in the midday sky when I
couldn’t look at him for brightness.”

Puddleglum’s words had a very rousing effect. The other three all breathed again and
looked at one another like people newly awaked.

“Why, there it is!” cried the Prince. “Of course! The blessing of Aslan upon this honest
Marsh-wiggle. We have all been dreaming, these last few minutes. How could we have
forgotten it? Of course we’ve all seen the sun.”

“By Jove, so we have!” said Scrubb. “Good for you, Puddleglum! You’re the only one of
us with any sense, I do believe.”

Then came the Witch’s voice, cooing softly like the voice of a wood-pigeon from the high
elms in an old garden at three o’clock in the middle of a sleepy, summer afternoon; and it

“What is this sun that you all speak of? Do you mean anything by the word?”

“Yes, we jolly well do,” said Scrubb.

“Can you tell me what it’s like?” asked the Witch (thrum, thrum, thrum, went the strings).

“Please it your Grace,” said the Prince, very coldly and politely. “You see that lamp. It is
round and yellow and gives light to the whole room; and hangeth moreover from the roof. Now that thing which we call the sun is like the lamp, only far greater and brighter. It giveth light to the whole Overworld and hangeth in the sky.”

“Hangeth from what, my lord?” asked the Witch; and then, while they were all still
thinking how to answer her, she added, with another of her soft, silver laughs: “You see?
When you try to think out clearly what this sun must be, you cannot tell me. You can
only tell me it is like the lamp. Your sun is a dream; and there is nothing in that dream
that was not copied from the lamp. The lamp is the real thing; the sun is but a tale, a
children’s story.”

“Yes, I see now,” said Jill in a heavy, hopeless tone. “It must be so.” And while she said
this, it seemed to her to be very good sense.

Slowly and gravely the Witch repeated, “There is no sun.” And they all said nothing. She
repeated, in a softer and deeper voice. “There is no sun.” After a pause, and after a
struggle in their minds, all four of them said together. “You are right. There is no sun.” It
was such a relief to give in and say it.

“There never was a sun,” said the Witch.

“No. There never was a sun,” said the Prince, and the Marsh-wiggle, and the children.

For the last few minutes Jill had been feeling that there was something she must
remember at all costs. And now she did. But it was dreadfully hard to say it. She felt as if
huge weights were laid on her lips. At last, with an effort that seemed to take all the good
out of her, she said:

“There’s Aslan.”

“Aslan?” said the Witch, quickening ever so slightly the pace of her thrumming. “What a
pretty name! What does it mean?”

“He is the great Lion who called us out of our own world,” said Scrubb, “and sent us into
this to find Prince Rilian.”

“What is a lion?” asked the Witch.

“Oh, hang it all!” said Scrubb. “Don’t you know? How can we describe it to her? Have
you ever seen a cat?”

“Surely,” said the Queen. “I love cats.”

“Well, a lion is a little bit – only a little bit, mind you like a huge cat – with a mane. At
least, it’s not like a horse’s mane, you know, it’s more like a judge’s wig. And it’s yellow.
And terrifically strong.”

The Witch shook her head. “I see,” she said, “that we should do no better with your lion,
as you call it, than we did with your sun. You have seen lamps, and so you imagined a
bigger and better lamp and called it the sun. You’ve seen cats, and now you want a bigger and better cat, and it’s to be called a lion. Well, ’tis a pretty makebelieve, though, to say truth, it would suit you all better if you were younger. And look how you can put nothing into your make-believe without copying it from the real world, this world of mine, which is the only world. But even you children are too old for such play. As for you, my lord Prince, that art a man full grown, fie upon you! Are you not ashamed of such toys?
Come, all of you. Put away these childish tricks. I have work for you all in the real world.
There is no Narnia, no Overworld, no sky, no sun, no Aslan. And now, to bed all. And let
us begin a wiser life tomorrow. But, first, to bed; to sleep; deep sleep, soft pillows, sleep
without foolish dreams.”

The Prince and the two children were standing with their heads hung down, their cheeks
flushed, their eyes half closed; the strength all gone from them; the enchantment almost
complete. But Puddleglum, desperately gathering all his strength, walked over to the fire.
Then he did a very brave thing. He knew it wouldn’t hurt him quite as much as it would
hurt a human; for his feet (which were bare) were webbed and hard and coldblooded like
a duck’s. But he knew it would hurt him badly enough; and so it did. With his bare foot
he stamped on the fire, grinding a large part of it into ashes on the flat hearth. And three
things happened at once.

First, the sweet heavy smell grew very much less. For though the whole fire had not been
put out, a good bit of it had, and what remained smelled very largely of burnt Marsh-
wiggle, which is not at all an enchanting smell. This instantly made everyone’s brain far
clearer. The Prince and the children held up their heads again and opened their eyes.

Secondly, the Witch, in a loud, terrible voice, utterly different from all the sweet tones
she had been using up till now, called out, “What are you doing? Dare to touch my fire
again, mud-filth, and I’ll turn the blood to fire inside your veins.”

Thirdly, the pain itself made Puddleglum’s head for a moment perfectly clear and he
knew exactly what he really thought. There is nothing like a good shock of pain for
dissolving certain kinds of magic.

“One word, Ma’am,” he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain.
“One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who
always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any
of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only
dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and
Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up
things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a
kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a
funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re
right. But four babies playing a game can make a playworld which licks your real world
hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there
isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young
lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our
lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a
small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”

In the telling of Dr. Robinson’s story, the Dragon, when touched, made you feel good. Gave you peace and pleasure. I know I sound like one of those about to be eaten, but I figure I will give you my advice anyway. How do you know that the dragon is bad? The boy had only heard that the dragon was bad by those in the village where he grew up, the same village that didn’t feel right to him. He left that village because he didn’t fit there. He was shocked to notice that the dragon was cute and not what the village (that he didn’t fit in) told him it would be. As the boy and the dragon interacted the dragon grew and the pain was only felt when the boy pulled away from the dragon. After re-reading the story in the Silver Chair, I cannot help but compare Dr. Robinson’s story of the Dragon with Christ.

Imagine that the dragon was instead Christ.

When you separate yourself from Christ do you not feel hurt? When you try and fight Christ are you not defeated with every tactic? Does not our image of Christ grow the more time we spend with Him? (This one is difficult but bear with me) Doesn’t Christ refine us through trials that we see for ourselves and for outsiders as the equivalent of being trampled and eaten? Do we not have men with beards teaching on a hill all about Christ? Whose very existence is centered on Christ? Are we all not drawn to the beauty and wonder that is Christ just as those young men are even when pressured to band together and fight against Christ?

Do you really want to leave and abandon Christ and Aslan and Narnia and the feeling that is so wonderful and instead settle for Underland, where there is no sun [or son], where there is not the same goodness felt in Christ? Do you really want to ignore Christ and return to the village in which you do not belong and live a life that is good in and of itself but not as fulfilling as a life embracing Christ, embracing the Dragon. Perhaps this is why he is even referred to as Quetzalcoatl, not the feathered serpent but the “Most Precious Serpent, the one who emerges from the serpent as Venus rises from the morning horizon”

I do not know about you, but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. The Lord of peace, whose spirits I feel when I feel joyful, a feeling of Christ and not of Satan.

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