The price that must be paid for sin.
Edmund is held captive by the forces of the White Witch, but after a daring raid by Aslan's forces frees Edmund, he discovers the freedom of the Great Lion's camp may be short-lived.
Cross, Sacrifice, Atonement, Substitution, Redemption
The White Witch approaches Aslan's camp amid the fanfare of her lackeys. She alights from her litter and Aslan emerges from his tent. She looks up at the Great Lion and says, "You have a traitor in your midst, Aslan." Aslan tells her that Edmund's "offense was not against you." The Witch tries to remind him of the law of Narnia that says that all traitors belong to her and that they are to be killed, "His blood is my property." Peter unsheathes his sword and defiantly dares her to take Edmund. The White Witch coolly looks at him and says that force cannot deny her right. She tells everyone assembled that "if I do not have blood, as the law demands," Narnia will be destroyed. "That boy will die on the Stone Table, as is tradition." Aslan invites the Witch into his tent so that they can speak together. When they emerge, Aslan announces that the Witch has "renounced her claim" on Edmund's blood. Everyone in Aslan's camp cheers, but the Witch wants to know if Aslan will keep his word. The only answer she gets is a roar. She runs off, and Aslan's camp believes a great victory has been won, but Aslan's head hangs low. That night, Lucy cannot sleep and hears the sound of Aslan moving through the camp. She wakes Susan and together they follow Aslan. He stops and invites them to walk with him for awhile, but finally tells them he must now go on alone. The girls hide to see what he will do next. He approaches the White Witch's camp, filled with every imaginable evil creature. The Witch says, "Behold, the Great Lion!" As Aslan advances the creatures make way -- frightened and unsure of what the Lion will do. At a signal from the Witch, a minotaur clubs Aslan in the face, and the Lion drops to the ground. The Witch commands Aslan be bound. Once he is tied tight, the assembly of creatures taunt and beat him. The Witch commands that Aslan be shaved of his mane and then dragged to the Stone Table. The Witch leans down to mock Aslan, telling him that after she kills Aslan she will go after the children. She tells him that he has sacrificed his life, "and saved no one. So much for love." She tells her hosts that the Deep Magic will be appeased by this sacrifice, but that tomorrow she will lead her armies to take Narnia back, "forever." She looks down at Aslan and tells him, "In that knowledge, despair and die." She brings a cruel-looking black knife in a swift motion downward, and sinks it into Aslan's side. His eyes grow wide for a moment, and then the light goes out of them. The Great Lion is dead.
This is a lengthy clip, but it contains nearly the whole of the Gospel. It is impossible not to see the parallels between the sacrifice of Aslan on behalf of Edmund and the sacrifice of Jesus on behalf of all humankind. There was a debt to be paid as a result of sin. The debt could not be paid by Edmund, so Aslan suffered in his place. Sometimes we have heard the story of the crucifixion so many times that it, unfortunately, loses its punch. One of the key events in God's redemptive history has become dull to some of our ears. By recasting the Savior as a Great Lion and by varying the means of his death - though not the reason for it -- C.S. Lewis was hoping to help children come to grips with the full force of Christ's loving sacrifice. We were bought with a great price -- Jesus was mocked, beaten, and nailed to a cross on our behalf. And it is not just children that need to be reminded by seeing it though fresh eyes.
Cross, Suffering, Sacrifice, Atonement, Substitution, Redemption, Redeem
Not for very young viewers. The beating and shaving and the ultimate death thrust (though not seen) could be upsetting to very young viewers.