Biblical Parallels in Narnia - The Door

I love to study the elements of a great story and try to identify Truth. Of course, stories like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis, are so much fun to study, because the Biblical parallels are so strong.

Do you know the story? Even if you haven’t read the book, maybe you’ve seen the movie, which took some liberties with the original to Hollywood-ize it, but stayed true in the most important parts. It’s about four children growing up in London during the war. Their parents sent them to live with an eccentric old man way out in the country to keep them safe from the air raids and fighting. One rainy day they decide to explore the huge old house, and they find a spare room containing nothing but a wardrobe. The oldest 3 go on to explore another room, but Lucy, the youngest, stays behind to check out what’s in the wardrobe.

Inside the wardrobe, Lucy steps completely out of our world, and into another one, a world populated with talking animals and mythical creatures, one that is held captive by an evil witch that makes it always winter, and never Christmas.

Now – when I was a kid, this story absolutely fascinated me. My mother read it to me before I could even read myself, and from the first time, I was right there with Lucy, looking around at the snow-laden trees while walking in a frozen forest. And not just me – millions of people, children and adults alike – have identified strongly with this story.

And, in fact, not just this one, but any story where someone from our world steps through a mystical doorway into another world. Such as The Wizard of Oz. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a doorway – we’re fascinated with any story where a sort of parallel universe exists alongside ours – Star Trek used that device many times. Stefanie Meyers uses it in her popular Twilight series – a whole different world populated with people who live alongside us, but are definitely not of our world. J.K. Rowling did the same thing with Harry Potter.

Why are people so fascinated with the idea of another world existing alongside ours?

I think it’s because that belief is a spiritual Truth. In our very essence, we are spiritual beings, and we know that this physical world isn’t all there is. We have this deep-seated, often inarticulate longing to know that there is “something beyond.” A place that’s infinitely more real and more fascinating, and more joyful. And isn’t it amazing to imagine that, at any moment, we may turn a corner, or step through a doorway, or through a wardrobe, and encounter another dimension, where God and the hosts of heaven dwell in power and joy and unapproachable light?

Jesus’ first public announcement of his Galilean ministry was this: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.” At hand doesn’t mean coming soon. It means it’s here!

Remember Elisha’s servant? Elisha was in Dothan, and an enemy king sent an army to kidnap him. Let’s read what happened from 2 Kings:

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them. And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.(2 Kings 6:17)

When we leave this physical world, we will see that truer, realer world in an instant. But even before then, we are sometimes privileged to glimpses of it, unexpected encounters with our Lord and His kingdom. That’s why Narnia is so compelling. We hope for those unexpected moments when a door opens between our mundane world and that one. Because we have a Friend there, one who says:

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved. (John 10:9)