These excerpts are, like yesterday’s, also taken from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. I found these sections to be quite packed with Scriptural parallels!
“Oh, children, children, why are you following me?”
“We couldn’t sleep,” said Lucy – and then felt sure that she need say no more and that Aslan knew all they had been thinking.
“Please, may we come with you – wherever you are going?” asked Susan. (Luke 23:27)
“Well –” said Aslan, “I should be glad of company tonight. Yes, you may come, if you will promise to stop when I tell you, and after that leave me to go on alone.”
“Oh, thank you, thank you. And we will,” said the two girls.
Forward they went again and one of the girls walked on each side of the Lion. But how slowly he walked! And his great, royal head drooped so that his nose nearly touched the grass. Presently he stumbled and gave a low moan.
“Aslan! Dear Aslan!” said Lucy, “what is wrong? Can’t you tell us?”
“Are you ill, dear Aslan?” asked Susan.
“No,” said Aslan. “I am sad and lonely. Lay your hands on my mane so that I can feel that you are there and let us walk like that.” (Matthew 26:38)
And so the girls did what they would never have dared to do without his permission, but what they had longed to do every since they first saw him – buried their cold hands in the beautiful sea of fur and stroked it and, so doing, walked with him. And presently they saw that they were going with him up the slope of the hill on which the Stone Table stood. They went up at the side where the trees came furthest up, and when they got to the last tree (it was one that had some bushes about it) Aslan stopped and said,
“Oh, children, children. Here you must stop. And whatever happens, do not let yourselves be seen. Farewell.”
And both the girls cried bitterly (though they hardly knew why) and clung to the Lion and kissed his mane and his nose and paws and his great, sad eyes. Then he turned form them and walked out on to the top of the hill. And Lucy and Susan, crouching in the bushes, looked after him and this is what they saw.
A great crowd of people were standing all round the Stone Table and though the moon was shining many of them carried torches which burned with evil-looking red flames and black smoke. But such people! Ogres with monstrous teeth, and wolves, and bull-headed men; spirits of evil trees and poisonous plants; and other creatures whom I won’t describe because if I did the grown-ups would probably not let you read this book – Cruels and Hags and Incubuses, Wraiths, Horrors, Efreets, Sprites, Orknies, Wooses, and Ettins. In fact here were all those who were on the Witch’s side and whom the Wolf had summoned at her command. And right in the middle, standing by the Table, was the Witch herself.
A howl and a gibber of dismay went up from the creatures when they first saw the great Lion pacing toward them, and for a moment even the Witch herself seemed to be struck with fear. Then she recovered herself and gave a wild, fierce laugh.
“The fool!” she cried. “The fool has come. Bind him fast.”
Lucy and Susan held their breaths waiting for Aslan’s roar and his spring upon his enemies. But it never came. Four Hags, grinning and leering, yet also (at first) hanging back and half afraid of what they had to do, had approached him. “Bind him, I say!” repeated the White Witch. The Hags made a dart at him and shrieked with triumph when they found that he made no resistance at all. Then others – the evil dwarfs and apes – rushed in to help them, and between them they rolled the huge Lion over on his back and tied all his four paws together, shouting and cheering as if they had done something brave, though, had the Lion chosen, one of those paws could have been the death of them all. But he made no noise, even when the enemies, straining and tugging, pulled the cords so tight that they cut into his flesh. (Isaiah 53:7) Then they began to drag him toward the Stone Table.
“Stop!” said the Witch. “Let him first be shaved.”
Another roar of mean laughter went up from her followers as an ogre with a pair of shears came forward and squatted down by Aslan’s head. Snip-snip-snip went the shears and masses of curling gold began to fall to the ground. Then the ogre stood back and the children, watching from their hiding-place, could see the face of Aslan looking all small and different without his mane. The enemies also saw the difference.
“Why, he’s only a great cat after all!” cried one.
“Is that what we were afraid of?” said another.
And they surged around Aslan, jeering at him, saying things like “Puss, Puss! Poor Pussy,” and “How many mice have you caught today, Cat?” and “Would you like a saucer of milk, Pussums?” (Matthew 27:27-31)
“Oh, how can they?” said Lucy, tears streaming down her cheeks. “The brutes, the brutes!” for now that the first shock was over the shorn face of Aslan looked to her braver, and more beautiful and more patient than ever.
“Muzzle him!” said the Witch. And even now, as they worked about his face putting on the muzzle, one bite from his jaws would have cost two or three of them their hands. But he never moved. And this seemed to enrage all that rabble. Everyone was at him now. Those who had been afraid to come near him even after he was bound began to find their courage, and for a few minutes the two girls could not even see him – so thickly was he surrounded by the whole crowd of creatures kicking him, hitting him, spitting on him, jeering at him. (Matthew 26:67)
At last the rabble had had enough of this. They began to drag the bound a muzzled Lion to the Stone Table, some pulling and some pushing. He was so huge that even when they got him there it took all their efforts to hoist him onto the surface of it. Then there was more tying and tightening of cords.
“The cowards! The cowards!” sobbed Susan. “Are they still afraid of him, even now?”
When once Aslan had been tied (and tied so that he was really a mass of cords) on the flat stone, a hush fell on the crowd. Four Hags, holding four torches, stood at the corners of the Table. The Witch bared her arms as she had bared them the previous night when it had been Edmund instead of Aslan. Then she began to whet her knife. It looked to the children, when the gleam of the torchlight fell on it, as if the knife were made of stone, not steel, and it was a strange and evil shape.
At last she drew near. She stood by Aslan’s head. Her face was working and twitching with passion, but his looked up at the sky, still quiet, neither angry nor afraid, but a little sad. Then, just before she gave the blow, she stooped down and said in a quivering voice,
“And now, who has won? Fool, did you think that by all this you would save the human traitor? Now I will kill you instead of him as our pact was and so the Deep Magic will be appeased. But when you are dead what will prevent me from killing him as well? And who will take him out of my hand then? Understand that you have given me Narnia forever, you have lost your own life and you have not saved his. In that knowledge, despair and die.”
At that moment they heard from behind them a loud noise – a great cracking, deafening noise as if a giant had broken a giant’s plate.
“What’s that?” said Lucy, clutching Susan’s arm.
“I – I feel afraid to turn around,” said Susan; “something awful is happening.”
“They’re doing something worse to Him,” said Lucy. “Come on!” And she turned, pulling Susan around with her.
The rising of the sun had made everything look so different – all colours and shadows were changed – that for a moment they didn’t see the important thing. Then they did. The Stone Table was broken into two pieces by a great crack that ran down it from end to end (Matthew 27:51); and there was no Aslan.
“Oh, oh, oh!” cried the two girls, rushing back to the Table.
“Oh, it’s too bad,” sobbed Lucy; “they might have left the body alone.”
“Who’s done it?” cried Susan. “What does it mean? Is it more magic?”
“Yes!” said a great voice behind their backs. “It is more magic.” They looked round. There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself.
“Oh, Aslan!” cried both the children, staring up at him, almost as much frightened as they were glad. (Luke 24:5-6)
“Aren’t you dead then, dear Aslan?” said Lucy.
“Not now,” said Aslan.
“You’re not – not a – ?” asked Susan in a shaky voice. She couldn’t bring herself to say the word ghost. Aslan stooped his golden head and licked her forehead. The warmth of his breath and a rich sort of smell that seemed to hang about his hair came all over her.
“Do I look it?” he said.
“Oh, you’re real, you’re real! Oh, Aslan!” cried Lucy, and both girls flung themselves upon him and covered him with kisses.
“But what does it all mean?” asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer.
“It means,” said Aslan, “that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned (Hebrews 1:10; Jeremiah 10:12), she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim (John 10:18) who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward.” (2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53:5)
Luke 23:27 - A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.
Matthew 26:38 - Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."
Isaiah 53:7 - He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Matthew 27:27-31 – (The Soldiers Mock Jesus) Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
Matthew 26:67 - Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him.
Matthew 27:51 - At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.
Luke 24:5-6 - 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!
Hebrews 1:10 – “In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.”
Jeremiah 10:12 - But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.
John 10:18 - No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.
2 Corinthians 5:21 - God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Isaiah 53:5 - But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.