In the movie “The Chronicles of Narnia,” one of the boys wanders off from his siblings to make his own way, like a prodigal son, betraying them and leading only to trouble. This scenario is not uncommon among us as human beings. So often, we want to decide for ourselves what is best. We don’t want others to tell us what to do. We know what it feels like to not want God to tell us what to do. Indeed, we want to create our own rules and be in control.
We all have this innate desire to be in control – more specifically, to be in control of our pleasure. According to the Bible, God says that He wants to give us abundant life. But we exchange God’s plan with our own plan – all out of a desire to be in control.
We can betray family and friends for the purpose of so-called “happiness.” But it doesn’t last. We inevitably get in trouble. We may not fall into the clutches of a witch like the boy Edmund in the movie “Narnia,” but we betray our own values, and there is a price for that. It’s amazing how fast our lives can unravel.
However, the good news is that grace and redemption are available to all.
In “The Chronicles of Narnia,” the lion-king Aslan says, “What’s done is done. There is no need to speak to Edmund about what is past.” This is an example of grace. Love covers all sins. When you confess your sins and ask Jesus to forgive you based on His death and resurrection, God tosses your sins into the sea of forgetfulness. This is reality.
In the movie, when the witch says venomously, “Every traitor belongs to me,” she insists that the boy Edmund must die. Yet, Aslan goes to his death as a replacement for the boy. SPOILER ALERT: Like Jesus Christ, Aslan overcomes death.
To paraphrase the Bible, God looked at the earth and said, “No price is too high.” So He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever confesses and believes in Him will not perish. If the witch in the Narnia movie understood the truth about sacrifice and the power of the perfect sacrifice, she would have understood the force which makes death itself turn backwards.
In “Narnia,” Edmund returns to his family and is restored, thanks to the lion-king Aslan. Similarly, in the story of the prodigal son in the Bible, the father was excited to see the restoration of his son. His father saw his son from a long way off because he was looking for him.
So [the prodigal son] arose and came to his father. But while he was yet far away, his father saw him and was moved with compassion, and ran and embraced his neck and kissed him. – Luke 15:20
The father gave the prodigal son a feast, put a ring on his finger, slipped sandals onto his feet and hung a robe on his shoulders, as if covering his son with grace.
The passion of our Heavenly Father is to run to us in our time of need. Like each of us at some point, we were lost, but now we are found. It’s nothing short of amazing grace.
(Note: If you struggle with control issues and you desire to control people and circumstances, you can attend the “Hurts, Habits and Hang-ups” group meeting in the Celebrate Recovery program on Tuesday nights at Shoreline South or Thursday nights at Shoreline North.)