Reflections – The Death of a Friend

 

August 2018

THE DEATH OF A FRIEND

n The Silver Chair, one of the books in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series, Aslan calls two children, Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole, out of our world into Narnia to find a lost Prince. Toward the end of the story, they are saddened by the death of King Caspian, who Eustace had become good friends with during a previous adventure. As they and others mourn this loss, Aslan, the Christ figure of Narnia, appears on the scene. He takes Eustace and Jill to his mountain:

Then they saw that they were once more on the Mountain of Aslan, high up above and beyond the end of the world in which Narnia lies. But the strange thing was that the funeral music for King Caspian still went on, though no one could tell where it came from. They were walking beside the stream and the Lion went before them: and he became so beautiful, and the music so despairing, that Jill did not know which of them it was that filled her eyes with tears.

Then Aslan stopped, and the children looked into the stream. And there, on the golden gravel of the bed of the stream, lay King Caspian, dead, with the water flowing over him like liquid glass. His long white beard swayed in it like water-weed. And all three stood and wept. Even the Lion wept: great Lion-tears, each tear more precious than the Earth would be if it was a single solid diamond. 1

Aslan instructs Eustace to pluck a thorn from a thicket, and to drive it into Aslan’s paw:

Then Eustace set his teeth and drove the thorn into the Lion’s pad. And there came out a great drop of blood, redder than all redness that you have ever seen or imagined. And it splashed into the stream over the dead body of the King. At the same moment the doleful music stopped. And the dead King began to be changed. His white beard turned to gray, and from gray to yellow, and got shorter and vanished altogether; and his sunken cheeks grew round and fresh, and the wrinkles were smoothed, and his eyes opened, and his eyes and lips both laughed, and suddenly he leaped up and stood before them — a very young man, or a boy. (But Jill couldn’t say which, because of people having no particular ages in Aslan’s country…) And he rushed to Aslan and flung his arms as far as they would go round the huge neck; and he gave Aslan the strong kisses of a King, and Aslan gave him the wild kisses of a Lion… At last Caspian turned to the others. He gave a great laugh of astonished joy…2

Let us be thankful that, as followers of Jesus Christ, we have the hope of resurrection.

 

“because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
from the dead will also raise us with Jesus…”

2 CORINTHIANS 4:14 (NIV)

 

1 C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair (New York: HarperTrophy, 1981). pp. 251.
2 Ibid., pp. 252-253.


© 2018 C.S. Lewis Institute. “Reflections” is published monthly by the C.S. Lewis Institute.
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