Today’s LA Times movie review of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe offers an interesting take on the story’s clear messianic imagery. According to Carina Chocano, Aslan the lion can’t really be considered a type of Jesus because Jesus would never fight bad guys.
If a scene featuring the torment and grisly execution of Aslan is meant
to recall the crucifixion (the lion is eventually resurrected, thanks
to the rules of the "deep magic" that governs Narnia), the other stuff
[cute talking animals and a "furry, benevolent Jesus figure"] cancels it out. That is, unless Christianity has lately been amended to
allow for the Christ figure in pitched battle against a witch, a
Minotaur and evil dwarfs (the centaur, the faun and flying wildcats are
on his side), which, these days, you never know.
She concludes the article
The story climaxes with a scary battle scene. No wonder that some might
take it as religious instruction: It’s a medieval vision of
Christianity for another dark age, with the Christ figure as soldier
and war as the way to make the world safe for Santa Claus. As a
Christian primer, it’s terrible. As a story, it’s timeless.
It seems like Chocano needs to brush up on her theology, because Christ as warrior king is one of the preeminent themes of scripture. Christianity is anything but the cute, fuzzy, feel good religion that Chocano seems to think it is. It presents a picture of the universe that is in the midst of the exact same battle that engulfs Narnia in Lewis’s Chronicles and it presents exactly the same solution: a redeemer that not only dies for the sins of others, but is resurrected and leads the forces of his kingdom to victory in battle.
I saw heaven standing open and there
before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.
With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all
the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper
of God, so that you may eat the flesh
of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the
flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great."
I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered
together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But
the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had
performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had
deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his
image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning
sulfur. The rest of them were killed
with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse,
and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.