Finding the gospel in Narnia – “The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe”
Each week in our Bible class (young people aged 11-18) we have been looking at how we find the gospel in Narnia using clips from “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. We watched the clip together, played gameps and has a short devotion. The young people also split into the groups for discussion questions. In each clip we explored one of the truths in the Bible about who Jesus said He is. The series was written by Myself, Kirsty Dawson and Miriam Rana.
Week 1. Lucy enters the wardrobe
Gospel theme: Jesus said “I am the light of the world”
Psalm 119:105,(Gods word is lamp to our feet),
John 8:12 (Jesus is the light)
John 1:5(light has overcome darkness)
Bible, Pass the bomb game, paper and pens for light/dark questions, “Lion, witch and wardrobe” DVD. Bible verses cut up in envelopes (see below)
Using the game “pass the bomb” ask for words associated with light then next turn darkness. Today we are going to talk about Jesus being the light of the world.
Watch clip then split into small groups for questions and discussion Clip -Lucy enters the wardrobe http://youtu.be/JMYU5vSaal8
Short talk and game
Explain that we are going to look at Jesus being the light of world. Split into 3 groups and bible verses below printed out and cut into individual words and put in envelopes. Challenge the groups to arrange bible verses into correct order. Alternatively for an older group you can just read verses out.
Verse 1 Unscramble verse – Psalm 119:105 -“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”
Remember the walk in the woods at the weekend away? It was good having a flashlight to light our path in the dark wood. In the verse we just read it says The bible is like a lamp to our feet, lighting up the path, guiding us which way to go in life. It helps us find the way to real fulfilment and meaning in life. The bible is different from other history books. It is Gods living word. The gospel (good news about Jesus) is the power of God for salvation if you believe.(Romans 1:16).
God sent His Holy Spirit to help us understand the truths from the Bible. Throughout the whole bible, everything points to Jesus.
2. Unscramble verse John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” In the clip from “the lion the witch and the wardrobe”, Lucy goes through the wardrobe which is narrow and when she gets into Narnia she heads down the path towards the light of the lamppost.
All of the Bible points towards Jesus and how much God loves us. Christians can be accused of being narrow minded or having too many rules. However, being a christian is not about following rules or being good. It is about following Jesus, the light of the world and allowing Him to transform our lives to become more like Him. If we choose the difficult path of following Jesus, like Lucy, we will find a new freedom and a whole new world open up to us.
3. Unscramble verse John 1:5 class=”>The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” This means that Jesus has overcome all the powers of darkness and evil in this world. When we choose to follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit lives in us guiding us, helping us to understand the bible truths and helping us to overcome problems in our lives like fear, anger, unforgiveness and other things that take away our joy and stop us being close to God.
Questions for discussion
1. What do you like about lucy? (Adventurous, kind, forgiving, innocent, brave, truthful, curious)(she has a childlike faith not immature or silly or weak but having childlike faith means being courageous, speaking the truth, being loving and kind, and most importantly trusting in God who made us, loves us and knows what’s best for us)
2. What do you think of when you hear the word darkness (fear, evil, bad things, alone, despair etc) and light (happiness, fun, confidence, hope, etc)
3. What does Jesus mean when He says He is the light of the world?
Glo sticks with bible verse attached Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
When we love Jesus, we want serve Him and to talk about Him with others. Like a light in a dark place we want to shine for Jesus. Pray for opportunities to share Jesus light with others.
Week 2: Turkish Delight temptation (written by Kirsty Dawson)
Gospel theme ..I AM the Bread of Life.. (John 6:41-51)
Watch Video clip: Edmund meets queen and is tempted by Turkish delight to betray his brother and sisters.
Play game: m&s relay
Split into 2 groups, each team given 2 colours to find, have a race to move m&ms from one bowl to another. Don’t eat any until end of game!
The Bible tells us that we are all tempted (even Jesus was). Edmund was tempted by Turkish delight, we might have been tempted by the m&ms! We might be tempted by money or designer clothes or a new phone or new Xbox game etc. Being tempted alone isn’t a sin but if we give into temptation it can lead to sin. For Edmund, temptation led to him to betray his brother and sisters to the evil queen Jadus. Another reason Edmund was quick to betray his brother and sisters was that he was angry at them.
Ephesians 4:26-27 says Be angry, but do not sin; do not let the sun go down in your anger and do not make room for the devil.
Like Edmund we can be deceived into sinning especially when we are angry.
John 8:34-36 says Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household but the son has a place there forever . So if the son makes you free you will be free indeed.
Sin can be addictive but Jesus has made a way for us to be free of sin. There is a new way through what Jesus did for us on the cross.
In John 6:48-51 Jesus says: (read out full thing).
“I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Sin leads to death but believing in Jesus and what he has done for us frees us from sin and leads to life.
1.) Why did Edmond want the Turkish Delight?
(because of greed/ lust/ after he took one bite he wanted more because it was addictive)
2.) Could he have stopped himself/resisted the temptation?
(yes – queen didn’t force him to eat it, she offered and he took it of his own free will. After one taste it was even harder to resist because his lust/ greed grew stronger/addictive but he still could have stopped)
3.) What do people get tempted by today in the world? And what do you get tempted by personally (IF anyone wants to share) ?
4.) What does the Bible say about temptation?
Resist temptation, obey God’s commandments,
God won’t let you be tempted greater than what you can bear – (1corinthians10:13)
God will not tempt you – it is Satan who tempts you to sin (James 1:13)
Pray against temptation (Luke 22:40, Matthew 6:13)
Jesus was tempted (Luke 4)
Jesus can help you because he himself suffered with temptation (Hebrews 2:18)
Temptation is inevitable in this world – don’t be surprised 1 (Peter 4:12)
Might ask groups to look up two or 3 of these verses during discussion time – Im sure there are loads more points that could be made in this question.
5.)What does God give us to help us resist temptation?
guidance in his word, the example of Jesus, his holy spirit in us convicting us of sin, fruits of the spirit to help us
Have a box of Turkish delight and offer them to young people. Get them to think about temptations they face. When we are tempted to do something we shouldn’t it is usually because it makes us feel good. Quite often we give into temptation even if the consequences are bad. Knowing God is the only way to be truly happy. He gives us His Holy Spirit to help us overcome temptations and become more like Jesus. Say a prayer to ask for help to overcome temptation.
Week 3 – Aslan is on the move
Gospel theme “I AM the door for the Sheep” (John 10:7-9)
Show clip – Beavers house “Aslan is on the move”
http://youtu.be/VqZmTfVH-G4 (clip quite short, you could show a bit more)
Giant Jenga (vague connection to beavers building dams)
How important is a name? We all have one. I joke with my children as I quite often get Jacob and James mixed up. So much so that sometimes they get muddled too. When people forget our name it feels like we are not important to them. We hope that our family and friends remember our names and sometimes give us nick names that reflect our character or something funny about us. We maybe don’t expect everyone in school, church to remember our names but it feels good if they do. We would not really expect celebrities or people that we see on tv/at concerts etc to remember our name even if we meet them a couple of times. My dad once met the queen and made her laugh by telling her a story about lobsters. This was his claim to fame for a long time. In the story we are learning today, one of the main points Jesus is making is that God knows each of us and is calling us by name to come to Him.
As we have just seen in the clip, the children have just made the decision to remain in Narnia to help rescue Mr Tumnus and ultimately save their brother Edmund. They had to make a decision to find Aslan who was their only hope. Let’s find out who our only hope is.
Read John 10:7-10
“So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
(Gatekeeper, gate, sheep and thieves and robbers)
I got the young people to act this story out. The gatekeeper (God) stood one end of the room and the sheep (us) the other. In the middle, between 2 chairs someone stood as the gate(Jesus). I had other young people representing the thieves and robbers (they held signs saying “money”, “success”, “fame” etc.)
In the Bible verses Jesus tells a story of a Gatekeeper looking after his sheep, knowing them by name, guiding them and protecting them as he takes them to new pastures. (I asked the gatekeeper to call his sheep by name)
Jesus is the gate to God – the only way to God. We have to go through the gate (or door) to see God and be saved from our sins. Just like Aslan was the only hope for Narnia, Jesus is our only hope.
What about the thieves and robbers? What do they represent? They represent the lies told by the world and the devil about what can make us happy. Beauty, success, money, sex and fame. While there is nothing wrong with these things, the devil is very sneaky and tempts us to think of these things (which are created things) as more important than our Heavenly Father and creator God. God made all things and wants us to enjoy his creation but the devil hates us and twists Gods truth claiming that “things” will make us happy. (I asked the thieves to say “follow me” but encouraged the sheep to listen to the shepherd).
When we choose to follow Jesus we know His voice. The Holy Spirit lives in us guiding us in which way to go. (The sheep goes through the gate and hugs/high 5s the shepherd). I explained that although we still get tempted and do wrong when we are Christians, the difference now is that we have God the Father as our shepherd walking with us guiding us.It also says that He leads his sheep out of the sheep pen. Jesus doesn’t want us to stay where we are in our spiritual walk. He wants us to explore and live life to the full. With Him!
1. What does “Aslan is on the move” mean?
(The plan to save Narnia has started. For us it means God is a faithful God and although His people through history and now keep going our own way and forgetting Him, He never gives up. God had a plan to save us and bring us back into his loving arms. Jesus came to bring Gods kingdom on earth. Sin, evil, and even death itself no longer have powers over us.)
2. What does it mean that Jesus is the gate?
(Jesus is the only way to God, he protects and guides us)
3. What dangers can we fall into if we don’t trust in Jesus?
(We live for ourselves, become selfish, tempted by the worlds lies, become hurt and disappointed. Only way to real joy and peace is through a trusting relationship with Jesus.
4. How do we know God loves us?
(He sent His son to rescue us. He knows our names, He keeps His promises. He is faithful even when we turn our backs on Him)
As you play giant Jenga, each time you complete a level give them a word from the verse “I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly”.(John10:10). Get them to blutac onto each completed Jenga layer (last word first so that it reads the right way) and then all read it out at the end before a volunteer knocks it over. (Hopefully not like us, at the same point as someone opens the door to the sanctuary while the minister is saying a prayer!!)
Or play a normal game of Jenga and for each piece played on the top say a prayer of thanks.
Week 4 – Gods Gifts (written by Miriam Rana)
Gospel theme John 15:5
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
Scene: Santa gives the children gifts.
Would You Rather…
kiss a dog or a cat on the mouth?
eat cow eyeballs or monkey lips?
die by a fire or by a drowning?
win free tickets to a professional football game or baseball game?
live without TV for one year or be homeless for one month?
have a phone or a TV in your room?
keep your siblings or be an only child?
win a million pounds all at once today or get £1000 a week for the rest of your life?
lose both arms or both legs?
work during the summer or stay at home all day?
Explain that you are going to call out a category, and everyone must group themselves according to their favorite in that category For instance, if you call out, “Pizza,” then everyone would group themselves according to the different types of pizza available. Other favorites include color, fast-food-restaurant, movie, song, TV show, band, teacher at school, etc.
Through our game we discovered we are all different. I have four children, all made with the same genes and all very different. Niamh the oldest is a thinker (good thing/bad thing?), maya is a doer (braver but sometimes doesn’t think first). Then I have two twins who are completely different! Obviously one being a boy the other a girl a different but layla is a sneaky monster and adam can be a bit excitable.
We are all unique and have different opinions, skills, humour. If we were all the same society wouldn’t function propery.
How are Lucy, Susan, Edmond and Peter different, why do you think they got those specific gifts?
Father Christmas said that the gifts were “tools not toys”. They were to be used to fulfil their calling. God sends His Holy Spirit to His children (Christians) for the very same reason. In Ephesians 2:8-10 it says:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
God made us different as we all have a job to do but he’s not left us to do it alone.
What is a spiritual gift? 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
“To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”
The main purpose of Spiritual gifts is to glorify God and build up the church. They are not something to bring us glory to make people like us or to get something we want.
Just like different personalities are needed to make the world go round different gifts are given to different people to do Gods work on earth.
In a game of football there are many positions eg…… (kids fill in.)
Who is the most important player in a game…..debate follows… there is no player that is more important you need all positions to make a team strong. I striker will help defend and a defender wouldn’t not strike if the opportunity was there.
Everyone has a part to play to make the team score goals defend and ultimately win the game.
Back to the verse at the start John 15:5 says
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
If we, the branches are to produce fruit (love, joy, peace etc) we need to be connected with the vine (God). We are not to be Christians just for ourselves and in order to get to heaven, but through His Holy Spirit God helps us to achieve His purposes on earth.
1. Why do you think Father Christmas in Narnia gave the children these gifts?
2. Do you think they may have bn scared of using their gifts?
3. What/ who is the main gift God gives all his children?
4. Do you think that God has gifted you in anyway and can you think of any ways you can use that gift to produce fruit/do Gods work?
5. Like a tree, do you feel that your gifts can grow and change shape as your relationship with God grows?
Week 5: Peter’s first Battle (written by Kirsty Dawson)
Watch Narnia clip together – Peter’s first battle
Game – Service Charades
Spilt them up into 2s or 3s or 4s give each team a slip of paper with scenario to act out. Others guess what they are doing.
Dinner ladies serving lunch
Soldiers serving in a war
Butler serving drinks
Tennis players practicing their service
Self service checkout at Morrisons
At end ask what was the common theme?
in the Narnia clip, Aslan allows Peter to fight the battle with the wolf to give him the opportunity to grow in courage maturity and leadership. God does the same for us to prepare us for service in his kingdom.
Personal battle – tell young people of a personal (not too personal) battle you have experienced.
There is still a battle between good and evil going on but we know that victory has already been achieved through what Jesus did on the cross. He was sent to die to pay the price for our sins because God loves us. John 14:6 says Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
When we have Christ in us He can break down strongholds 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says:
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Battles between God’s good and perfect will and our own sinful nature are constantly going on. Often we have to make a choice – be obedient to God or go our own way. If we could see into the future we would choose Gods way every time!
We will have to go through battles in life but we can have the confidence of Christ in us. We know that God will be with us whatever we have to face and he can help us. He can give us wisdom to know what is right and strength to do what is right.
And God can use the hardest times of our lives and make good come out of them. Romans 8:28 says:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
We can choose to do what God wants and serve him and others by fighting for what’s right. It helps if we try to keep our focus on Jesus and follow his example of serving God and serving others. Mark 10:42-45 says:
“Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many”.”
No matter what, because of what Christ did for us on the cross, we can be forgiven and set free from sin and death. God calls us to fight for what’s right, Serve God and serve others in love.
Split into groups for discussion.
1.) how do think Peter felt before the battle?
(not really any correct answers here but possible ones might be – afraid but his love for his sisters was greater than his fear, encouraged by the fact that Aslan believed in him, had courage because he had the sword)
2.) what battles have we faced/ are we facing?
(or just what kind of battles do people in general face if the young people don’t what to share – e.g. Illness, accidents, relationships breaking down, bankruptcy, losing job etc etc or trying to do what’s right but being tempted to do what is wrong)
3.) What does it mean to serve?
(lots of different meanings – discuss – a Christian definition could be: to help, aid or do work for God with a willing heart)
4.) do you find it easy to serve others? Are some people easier to serve than others?
5.) what does the bible say about serving God and serving others?
(look up 1Peter 4:9-11 together – Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Week 6 – Aslans deal
Jesus says “I am the good shepherd” John 10:14-16 says “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.”
Game – toilet roll ball throw
Scrunch up toilet roll into small ball shapes and say to the young people that each ball represents a sin. Split them into two teams facing one another and have a line of chairs between them to separate them. The aim of the game is to get the toilet roll balls away from your side and onto the others. Give them 2 minutes. Exhausting work for teenagers!
Do object lesson experiment coffee filter, highlighter and lemon juice. Aslan says there is no need to speak of Edmonds earlier behaviour. He has been forgiven. Isaiah 43v18 says “forget the former things do not dwell on the past” is in verse 25 God explains ‘I even I am he who blots out your transgressions and remembers your sins no more”
Edmonds betrayal, like our sin cannot be ignored. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death”. As with everything in life there are consequences for our actions. The world would be an even worse place if there were never any consequences for sinful behaviour. Imagine murderers allowed to be free, thieves allowed to roam freely from shop to shop helping themselves to anything. Life would be full of fear. We need to have justice to feel safer in the world. God is a just God. He cannot even look at sin. He gave the 10 commandments to show people the best way to live their lives but He knew no-one could keep all of the commandments all the time. But God loves us so much He sent Jesus who chose to die for us rather than have us be separated from Him for eternity.
Edmond keeps his eyes on Aslan while Queen Jadus is talking. Hebrews 12:3 says;
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
Jesus said “I AM the Good Shepherd” (John 10:14-16): Just like a shepherd takes care of sheep, Jesus takes care of us. He will do anything to save His sheep, even die for them. And that’s what He had to do so that we might have life to the full in a loving relationship with God. At the end of the scene when Queen Jadus questions Aslans commitment to the deal he gives an almighty roar. Though the devil would love nothing more than to destroy God and his people, he cannot. He is merely a tool that ultimately serves Gods purposes. In Philippians 2:5-11 it says “every knee will bow, every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord”. It’s important to remember when we feel under attack that Jesus has defeated death and evil.
1. What are some of the ways we try and get rid if our sins. (Good works, thinking we are “not that bad”)
2. How do the Ten Commandments help us recognise our sin and need to be saved.(nobody. An ever be perfect and obey all the commandments. We need a saviour)
3. Is there anything you fear? (Perfect love, which is Jesus casts our fear1 1 John 4:17 “There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.”
4. What can help us cast out or get rid of fear (prayer, trust in God, keep our eyes fixed on Jesus)
5. Why are we to “fix our eyes on Jesus”? (Takes our eyes off of ourselves and our problems and onto Jesus and trusting in Him)
6. What are some good things about Jesus being our “good shepherd”? (He loves us so much He was prepared to die for us, guides us, warns us and corrects us)
Week 7 – The stone table (written by Miriam Rana)
Gospel theme- (John 11:25-26)
“I AM the Resurrection and the Life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this.”
Scene: stone table- death and resurrection
Game:(depending on space available) version of Tig where you die then come back to life again.
OR Animal version of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
In the video Aslan gave himself up to the queen to pay off Edmunds debt. The queen thought she had won the battle for control of Narnia. But Aslan wasn’t guilty resulting in the breaking of the stone table and Aslan being resurrected.
The author intended this part of the book/film to represent Gods sacrifice for us. We were given laws to follow. These are our rules for living but we are sinners and break these rules constantly.
Has anyone ever broken the Ten Commandments? Lied, coveted, stole (if they say no – don’t believe you because you just admitted you’re a liar) In that case do we deserve a place in heaven? How many sin tallies would you have after your name?
But God had a plan. God came to earth as Jesus to pay for our sins. To clean our tally marks.
“At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon and at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice ‘Eloi Eloi lema sabachthani?’ (Which means my god my god why have you forsaken me?)”
When Jesus died on that cross the devil thought he had won but that wasn’t the end of the story. When God came back to life he defeated death and paid the price for our sin. He has won the battle for us.
What does this mean?
God is alive and if we believe in his sacrifice and believe He is the son of God we are alive too. When we ask for forgiveness for our sins hold over us is smashed! The devil has lost his power over us. Death has lost its power over us.
“I am the gate, whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
How do we know this happened?
Firstly after Jesus was resurrected he was seen by over 500 people. This wasn’t a rumor or a secret, this was FACT.
Secondly Jesus’ death was foretold in the Old Testament and Jesus himself told his disciples what was going to happen but still when Jesus died the disciples where gutted and afraid. They hadn’t listened, but after seeing God resurrected their certainty was so strong they were killed for telling people of Jesus’ sacrifice for us! You would HAVE to be certain…no?
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”
There was a part in the film where Aslan told the children of a deeper magic;
“When a willing victim who has committed no treachery was killed in a traitors stead, the table would crack and death itself would start working backwards.”
In the Bible 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 says;
“When this happens, then at last this Scripture will come true—“Death is swallowed up in victory.” O death, where then your victory? Where then your sting? For sin—the sting that causes death—will all be gone; and the law, which reveals our sins, will no longer be our judge.”
What does it mean to be free from bondage of sin? It doesn’t mean we won’t sin again but it does mean that the power of sin cannot control us any longer.
Example: when you have hurt someone you can apologise but you can still feel controlled by guilt, which will affect lots if areas of your life and your behaviour. For example you may try and earn forgiveness, feel depressed or get angry. God wants us to be set free from guilt and shame. We can ask God to set us free from the power sin has over our lives.
We can also be free from the fear of death. Although physically we will die, if we choose to follow Jesus in this life our souls will live with Him eternally.
1. Why didn’t Aslan fight back?
2. If God forgives our sin does that mean we can do what we like? Why not? Why did God give us the 10 commandments?
3. What would have happened if jesus had not died for our sin?
4. How does Jesus death and life prove he was the son of God?
5. What does the Bible mean “where oh death is your sting”?
Week 8: I have overcome the world (written by Kirsty Dawson)
1 John 5:4-5
Video Clip: Peter’s second battle
two teams make a suit of armour out of newspapers, best attempt wins
Over the last few weeks you have been looking at Aslan giving his life and his resurrection in Narnia and talking about how Jesus came to this world to die for our sins and last week you talked about how Jesus rose again after three days and what that all means. This week we are going to look more at what Jesus dying for our sins and being resurrected can mean for us if we choose to believe and follow him. Three weeks ago we looked at Peter’s first battle and now we have seen him battle the White Witch in this weeks clip. We will talk a little bit more about the battle that is still going on in the world between good and evil and learn about the things God gives us to equip us for this battle.
In John 16:33 Jesus says;
“I have told you all this so you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world.”
These words are amongst the last the Jesus said to his disciples before he died. He warns them about the future. He tells them where, when and why he is going – to prepare them and make sure they know he will still be with them.
We don’t need to look far to see evidence of trouble in the world – any newspaper you open, as soon as you turn on the news we learn of more war, more disasters, more crime etc etc.
We don’t need to look far in our own personal lives to find trouble. Everyone experiences difficulties in life. Whether it’s pain, hurt, betrayal, disappointment, fear, sickness etc etc – no one has a perfect life. Even those who seem like they have it all like celebrities. Everyone has things in their private life that are difficult and sooner or later everyone experiences trouble – again just look at newspapers/magazines.
Jesus says there will be trouble but he also says ‘take heart’ which means be confident or have courage – because I have overcome the world.
We are not alone, Jesus is with us. Jesus chose to come to this broken, troubled world and die on the cross for our sins. He rose again 3 days later to prove that he can overcome ANYTHING. He overcame sin, death and evil and what he did means we can have eternal life with him if we believe.
As we’ve talked about before God tells us that we will have trouble so don’t be surprised when you do. But through our trouble we can hold onto the promise that Jesus loves us and will never leave us. God can give us the strength to face whatever we need to face. Ultimately what we face here in this world only lasts a little while – Jesus died so that , if we believe, we can go to heaven where there will be no more suffering or pain.
1 John 5:4-5 says
“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”
Being a child of God or a Christian means believing that Jesus is the son of God, believing that he died for your sins and rose again, repenting and accepting Jesus as you saviour and following him. If we are Chrsitians we are overcomers like Jesus and we are victorious in battle because we believe Jesus has already won.
Ephesians 6:10-17 tells us the things that God has given Christians to help in the battle. (read out all verses 10-17) The battle we are in is to share the gospel with as many people as possible before the end of this world and to persevere as Christians – don’t give up. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that this battle is not against flesh and blood but against evil forces in spiritual world. Lets look at what Ephesians tell us about all the pieces of armour that God gives us to protect us from Satan and fight in this battle.
Belt of truth
Satan is the father of lies and he tries to decieve us into believing lies about God, ourselves and others but if we know and hold onto God’s truth and live by this we will be protected from Satan’s lies.
Breastplate of Righteousness
Christians are righteous because Jesus paid the price on the cross for our sins. We don’t need to be slaves to sin anymore, although we may be tempted. If we do sin we can repent. Jesus dies so we can be clothes in garments of salvation and robes of righteousness. If we live in the righteousness Jesus has given us we are protected.
Shoes of peace that comes from the good news (gospel)
soldiers sleep with their boots on because they never know when the enemy might strike. We also need to be ready with our shoes of peace of the good news – be ready to share the gospel and be protected by the peace the gospel brings us.
Shield of Faith (to extinguish the fiery arrows of the devil)
Satan will try to make Christians believe that they are not a child of God. He will accuse you and condemn you with every sin you’ve every committed or been tempted by. This is why we need our shield of faith. We hold it up and stand firm in our belief in the gospel/ our salvation and God’s promises.
Helmet of Salvation
Christians are spiritually protected by their salvation. Remember that Jesus is king, if we are believers we are children of God and a new creation. Remember Satan is your enemy! He will make you question your salvation – wear it proudly and remind yourself of it and that nothing can take it away.
Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
This is the only part of the armour which is a weapon (rather than just protection/ defence)
Don’t stop reading/studying/believing and following the word of God – The Bible. If you do you won’t have a weapon again Satan – you will be putting your sword down. To stop learning more about God by reading your Bible is like surrendering. Don’t give up!!
1.What troubles do we face/is the world facing?
(just go over this quickly to spark off some discussion – we already did a very similar question in study 5…)
2.How does all this trouble in the world make you feel?
3.What does ‘take heart’ mean? What’s your own definition?
(be confident, have courage, be brave, stand firm, you can do this! Be determined, don’t freak out etc)
4.Can you remember the 6 parts of the armour of God?
(look up Ephesians 6:14-17 together to check if you got them all right)
5.What part of the body is not covered by the armour? Why do you think this is?
(your back – because we don’t turn our back on our enemy – running away is not an option! Ephesians 6:14 says ‘stand firm…’)
Week 9 A Royal inheritance
Scene: kings and Queens of narnia
Games: Stepping stones race.
Give each young person 2 sheets of newspaper and they have to try and get across the room without touching the floor, using only the newspaper sheets.
Revelation 1:8. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Does anyone know what the words Alpha and Omega means? Beginning and end of Greek alphabet? When we think of beginning and end we tend to think of start and finish in terms of time i.e. a day, a project or homework assignment or a game of sports. God is not restricted by time. There never was a time He was not.
Alpha = beginning.
John 1:1 says;
“In the beginning was The word and the word was with God and the word was God.”
Jesus is the word and he was there at the beginning of creation. Everything that is originates ultimately in him. And everything will somehow end with him. From everlasting to everlasting, he is God (Psalm 90:2).
Before even creation itself, God planned to send Jesus as saviour for the world.
Omega = end
Everything comes from and belongs to Him.
“In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
I’m sure like me you have at times used prayers to Jesus the same way we would use a vending machine. In times of trouble we can sometimes pray and expect God to give us what we want. We give God the solution to our plans or our troubles and can view God as a bit of a personal assistant?
But Jesus is not a means to an end, He is the end. A relationship with God through Jesus is the whole point of life. When we submit to Him and His will, only then will he give us “the desires of our hearts”.
Being a Christian is not always easy, in fact as we heard last week, Jesus said “In this world you will have trouble” (John16:33)
Being a christian IS however, an adventure. One that you don’t have to live alone. The Holy Spirit lives in us to help us become more and more like Jesus.
Jesus is not just the beginning or the end of all things He is the beginning AND the end. Jesus is our “all in all”, our everything, our only hope and the only One we can fully trust. He gave up everything for us so that We could spend eternity with Him.
The children in Narnia received crowns and were named as kings and queens of Narnia. Did you notice how happy Edmond looked, free from guilt and shame?
In the Bible Romans 8:15-17
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Before we become Christians we are helpless (dead) in our sin. Our hearts are like dirty rags covered in guilt and shame (hold a dirty rag near your heart). When we become Christians we choose to follow Jesus by asking for forgiveness and allowing God to turn our lives around.
Forgiveness is like taking a bath, We take a bath to get rid of all the dirt (throw rag away)
But God doesn’t stop there, he clothes us with Jesus righteousness (put on purple blanket). What does that mean? Righteousness is like putting on clothes of right living. We can’t do this in our own strength. We need Jesus strength like a robe around us. He also puts a crown on our heads and sandals on our feet and equips us to do the work He prepared for us before the beginning of time.
At the end of the clip Mr Tumnis says to Lucy that “Aslan is not a tame Lion” and she replies “but he is good”. Just like Aslan is not tame Jesus cannot be controlled or manipulated. We need to trust Him and place our hopes in Him and believe that like Aslan “He is good”.
We sing a song in church called “blessed be your name”. Some of the words are;
“Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name
Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name”
God is good, nothing can change that. When our circumstances are good we can praise God. When things go wrong – God is still good and when we trust in Jesus we can choose to say “blessed be the name of The Lord”.
1. What does it mean that Jesus is the beginning AND end? (Jesus is our “all in all”, our everything, our only hope and the only One we can fully trust. He gave up everything for us so that We could spend eternity with Him.)
2. What do you think the frozen statues represent? What does it mean when Aslan broke the spell and brought them back to life?
(We were dead in our sin but through Christ we can have new life)
3. What circumstances have you chosen to praise God? (Give a personal example if you like)
4. What did you like most about the film?
5. Which character are you most like?
6. What have you learned about Jesus through Narnia?