In my previous blog, I asked the question about Aslan and the ransom that he paid to the witch. I feel as though I need to follow this up with just a couple of thoughts. The particular idea of the ransom used by C. S. Lewis is a very historical view within Christianity. It dates back to Origen in the third century. At its heart is the difficult word ‘ransom’. The question was if Jesus’ death was a ransom then to whom was it paid? The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe suggests it is Satan (or Lewis’ Witch). As the previous post noted, this is difficult to support Biblically and implies that God ‘hood-winked’ Satan into this agreement. Biblically Satan is certainly a real and evil force in the world but he is not equal with God, and God is not indebted to him.
Instead of focussing on this however, today I believe there is the need to understand the implications of the cross of Jesus.
1. Because of the Cross we can live with God.
The big story of the Bible is bringing sinful humanity into relationship with a holy God. It is in essence the undoing of the problems created by the fall and restoring all things back into the proper order. God created people in his image. This truth is important. In Genesis, God walked in the garden with Adam (and Eve) but due to our rejection of him this is no longer the case. The cross of Christ breaks down that impossibility so that we, even though sinful, no longer need to live in fear of the holy God but can live with him.
2. Because of the Cross we can live for God.
If the cross allows people to live with God then it equally calls people to live for God. We could consider this because of the high cost that Jesus paid for our salvation but think about the example that is seen in Exodus. God delivers his people from slavery to worship him. The cross brings us freedom but it’s the freedom to worship God. Think about how this works in practise. Knowing the depths of the love and grace of God empower us to show it to others.
3. Because of the Cross we can live like God.
Through the cross, God draws Jesus followers into relationship. The Holy Spirit dwells within us. What a privilege! But living for God seems daunting. It could feel like we need to strive and strain to achieve this but the Holy Spirit is our helper in this. The Holy Spirit changes us to become more like Jesus. This means that we no longer have to pull up our socks and try harder but allow God to be at work in us moulding and shaping us.