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The Last Battle


Reepicheep, the Valiant Mouse, in the New Narnia

To my mind, one of the most wonderful descriptions of everlasting life, outside of the Bible, is that written by C. S. Lewis in The Last Battle, the final book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. As most of my readers will remember, at the end of the book, Lucy, Edmund, and Peter, three children whom we first met in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, experience a railway accident in our world and suddenly find themselves in a strange land that is incredibly beautiful and breathtaking in its splendor. Within this land they discover many of the people whom they loved in their life on earth and in Narnia. While the children are still trying to figure out exactly where they are, they discover something even better about this special land; Aslan, the great Lion, the Lord of Narnia, is there.

Lewis writes,
The light ahead was growing stronger. Lucy saw that a great series of many-coloured cliffs led up in front of them like a giant's staircase. And then she forgot everything else, because Aslan himself was coming, leaping down from cliff to cliff like a living cataract of power and beauty.... Then Aslan turned to them and said:
"You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be." 
Lucy said, "We're so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often." 
"No fear of that," said Aslan, "Have you not guessed?" 
Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them. 
"There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are--as you used to call in in the Shadow-Lands--dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning." 
And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
There is something so great about the life everlasting that no propositional statement can even begin to capture the essence of it; only a story will do. And God gives us the choice whether or not we will enter into that great story through Aslan, the Christ. As we trust in him and yield our little stories to him, I believe he will make us part of that great story which goes on for ever, in which every chapter is better than the one before.

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