This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”:
Scripture: “He was buried and arose on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15, 4)
If our faith in Christ does not go farther than His death on the cross, we deprive ourselves of the most comforting truth of the message of the Gospel. We need a Savior Who is alive, Who not only died two thousand years ago on the cross for our sins, but stands next to us now, at every step of our earthly life, teaching us, showing us the way, and strengthening us by His invisible presence.
We need a living Christ Who hears our prayers, to Whom we can turn with repentance for our sins, and Whom we can call for assistance when we feel exhausted in an unbearable struggle. We need a Savior Who feels compassion for all our needs, Who is not indifferent to our innermost feelings, Who is ready to be our Friend, Who calls those who do God’s will His brothers, Who is always with us, and Who lives in our soul and Who pours out His love on us now as well. Only such a living image of Christ the Savior can satisfy our needs and our spiritual thirst, and it is this type of Christ that the holy Gospel shows us – the One Who died and arose, and will live forever!
In looking through all the references to “Christ”, “Jesus” and “Presence of God” in Goffar’s “C.S. Lewis Index”, I couldn’t find one that seemed to me to really express the idea in the above meditation. But Goffar didn’t examine Lewis’s fiction, except for The Screwtape Letters. And in The Chronicles of Narnia is where one does find the presence of Aslan throughout. This is the way Lewis described the creation of the Chronicles, in “It All Began With a Picture”:
"All my seven Narnian books, and my three science-fiction books, began with seeing pictures in my head. At first they were not a story, just pictures. The Lion all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture has been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: ‘et’s try to make a story about it.’
“At first I had very little idea how the story would go. But then suddenly Aslan came bounding into it. I think I had been having a good many dreams of lions about that time. Apart from that, I don’t know where the Lion came from or why He came. But once He was there He pulled the whole story together, and soon He pulled the six other Narnian stories in after Him.”
Although Lewis says that he didn’t know where the Lion came from or why he came, I think that we may have an idea (and maybe Lewis did as well?)?
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)