written by:

Chris Gallagher

Sermon Acts 10:34-43

    As Father Christmas proclaims,” Aslan is on the move!” In C.S. Lewis’ book The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe is a fictional story about four children that find a secret passageway through a wardrobe into a place called Narnia. In the world of Narnia it is always winter and never summer because the White Witch desires it that way. However, there’s a prophecy in which a lion, Aslan will eventually die and rise again and undo the spell forever.

    You see this story is not just a fictional story but contains several biblical allegories. Such as Narnia always being winter and never summer indicates that the world has been affected by sin. Always winter is our world today following Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God’s command not to partake of the fruit from the tree of life. Father Christmas, who announces that Aslan is on the move, is a fulfillment of prophecy concerning one who can break the spell. Father Christmas is a type of John the Baptist who announces the reign of the kingdom of God has begun in Christ’s baptism by John. Edmund one of the four children in Narnia has broken the covenant between Aslan and Narnia and must pay with his life. Just like us, “the wages of sin is death. However, Aslan decides to substitute himself for Edmund and voluntarily accepts death. Similarly, Christ substitutes himself on our behalf and became a propitiation for us. The White Witch thought that she had won the day, just like Satan did when Christ died. Surprisingly, there was a prophecy in Narnia about a “deep magic” and that Aslan came back to life and brought an army to defeat the White Witch. Through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, he defeated the world the flesh, and the devil. God looks at our sin no more because it’s been left in the tomb forever.

    On the move, John announces through Christ’s baptism that God’s reign in Christ has begun. God said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I’m well pleased.” Luke, regarding Peter, in our text for this morning writes,

               ‘you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: You know, that the reign of God in Christ has begun, you know of the miracles He performed to prove he is the Christ. You know that Christ did not need to be baptized because he was a sinner, he was perfect in all he said and did, but John baptized Christ to fulfill all righteousness, or in other words to fulfill all saving acts in Christ. A dove descended on Jesus confirming the announcement from heaven “this is my beloved Son in whom I’m well pleased “ but also the words of Isaiah echo, “Behold my servant, whom uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.

Christ is on the move; the reign of God in Christ has begun. You know 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. “ Jesus not only was anointed with the Spirit with power, he also spoke with authority. What he says is true. You know, you who were once enslaved and in bondage to your sin and sold into slavery under the spell of the wicked one, now have been set free from the bondage and slavery of sin into being a slave of righteousness, an adopted child of God, a royal priesthood to our King.

You know the disciples, “are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.” Our hope is in the resurrection. The disciples here confirm that you know these things, that Christ bodily rose from the grave to raise us to new life in him. Even Christ’s enemies such as Jewish scholar Josephus and Roman scholar Tacitus confirm that his followers witnessed him after his death. Sometimes individually and sometimes in groups Christ appeared to his Apostles and disciples. If Christ hasn’t risen from the dead we’re still dead in our trespasses and sins. Our faith is the only one in history that is based on a historical claim that Jesus rose from the dead

This Deep Magic, Edmund, you and I needed to pay with our lives for our transgressions and sins, but God out of his great mercy and grace sent His only begotten Son on our behalf. What C.S. Lewis called “the Great Exchange,” Christ died for us, for you, and took upon your sins and mine to the grave and left them there for all eternity. We should have died a criminal’s death. Instead through our baptism, we did die only to be risen a new creation in Christ and to be forgiven and dwell in eternity with him forever.

You know, Christ, through this Deep Magic was raised from the dead Luke tells us that, “he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” John the Baptist’s message was one of repentance and the end-times judgment. He warns the Pharisees and Sadducees, “You brood of vipers, who warned you from the wrath to come?”

Later on in Matthew Jesus will send out his twelve disciples to preach the good news of the Gospel, those who believe they’re to stay a while and make disciples out of them, followers of Christ our King, who has begun his reign. To those who reject the message, the disciples were to dust off their feet and move on. These keys of the kingdom were given not only to the disciples to loose and bind here on earth but also to you. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

John the Baptist as Father Christmas announced the reign of God through Christ is at hand, right underneath your nose. This deep magic that sin had to be dealt with, Christ died for you to deliver you from death to life. Jesus didn’t have to be baptized in the sense of his disciples for the confession and washing of sins, but he fulfilled all righteousness.

Jesus in a sense instituted baptism for us. Through your baptism you’ve been crucified with cross and buried with him. Following your baptism you’ve been raised in his resurrection, made into a new creation in Christ. God’s promises, attached to water for you. Through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection he conquered sin, death, and the devil.

Also, as you’ll later experience a nourishing of your faith through the Lord’s Supper, “Take eat, this in my body broken for you. Take drink, this is my blood shed for you, for the remission of all of your sins”

Therefore this deep magic brought an ultimate thaw to where sin, death, and the devil would no longer hold their domain because Christ is on the move. The New Jerusalem will descend down from heaven, where creation will no longer groan, and we will dwell with God for all eternity. As the disciples were sent out with the keys of the kingdom, we too, have the power to preach the historical gospel to those who are perishing. He has risen; he has risen, indeed. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”