“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, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.” – C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
And now we come to the crux of what the cross was all about – to give Life. As Jesus was on the cross, He was the perfect fulfillment of the Law. His death silenced the echoing cry of “guilty!” that the Law had been pronouncing over humanity since the first sin. Death reigned over all creation; the awful result of a fractured world. Individuals cowered in its fear, societies collapsed in its wake, civilizations had been consumed by its power. This was reality – the grave had the utter last word. No wonder the ancient preacher cried despairingly “Vanity! Vanity! All is vanity!” Death ruled with iron fist and none escaped his grip.
The battle against death was waged. The Source of all Life succumbed to the grave and
stampeded the gates of hell. But Death could not hold Him and His resurrection proved decisively that He had broken the power of His enemy. The grave was no longer the last word – it could not hold those who He called forth. The Bible refers to Jesus’ resurrection as the “firstfruit of the new creation”. His resurrection is the first example we have of what Life will look like and is the promise of our own Life. We need no longer fear death as a permanent foresakeness because God’s presence has vanquished the power of death to touch our souls. We can rejoice because God is with us and promises His strength and love for every moment. Death ceases to be an abysmal pit and becomes only a door – a passageway through which God invites us to take on an incorruptible body never to be touched by decay and death. C.S. Lewis describes our Life to come this way:
“We know not what we shall be”; but we may be sure we shall be more, not less, than we were on earth. Our natural experiences (sensory, emotional, imaginative) are only like the drawing, like pencilled lines on flat paper. If they vanish in the risen life, they will vanish only as pencil lines vanish from the real landscape, not as a candle flame that is put out but as a candle flame which becomes invisible because someone has pulled up the blind, thrown open the shutters, and let in the blaze of the risen sun.
With God’s presence a reality and a future such as this a certain promise, our hearts can jubilantly declare with the apostle “ Oh death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?”
Blessings to you,