The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis is the seventh and final book in The Chronicles of Narnia series. As the conclusion to this beloved fantasy series, The Last Battle contains many powerful Christian themes and allegories. Here is an in-depth look at some of the main Christian themes found in The Last Battle:
1. Judgement Day and the End Times
A major theme in The Last Battle is the concept of Judgement Day and the end of the world, as depicted in the biblical Book of Revelation. The evil ape Shift conspires to impersonate Aslan and convince the Narnians that the end times have come. This parallels the biblical warnings about false prophets who will deceive many during the end times. The deception leads to the enslavement of Narnia under the demonic Tash, just as the Book of Revelation warns that many will fall under the power of evil and false religion in the last days. However, C.S. Lewis provides a hopeful perspective through Aslan’s ultimate triumph over evil.
2. Deception by the Antichrist
Shift the ape is a symbolic representation of the Antichrist who will deceive many according to biblical prophecies. Shift disguises himself as Aslan and deceives the Narnians into following his evil plans. This parallels biblical passages about the lawless one who will come and fool many into obedience through counterfeit miracles and displays of power (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12). Shift’s deceptive words manipulate the Narnians into blind allegiance, just as the Antichrist will deceive countless people in the end times.
3. False Religion
The worship of the demonic god Tash represents false religion led by false prophets. Shift promotes this false religion and leads many Narnians astray into serving Tash. This reflects biblical warnings about false messiahs who will promote the worship of false gods (Matthew 24:24). C.S. Lewis warns against blindly following charismatic leaders without carefully examining their message against the truth. The only way to avoid deception is to know the real Aslan (Jesus) through his revealed word.
4. Temptation and Sin
Emeth represents a noble follower of Tash who is misguided but sincere. He portrays the experience of those who genuinely seek the truth but are deceived into false religion. His temptation continues until he finally meets the real Aslan and realizes the truth. This symbolizes the biblical teaching that temptation is inevitable but God provides the way out so we can endure (1 Corinthians 10:13). We must be wary of sin’s deception but keep seeking truth to withstand temptation.
5. Salvation by Grace
Though Emeth spent his life sincerely following a false god, Aslan accepts him joyfully. This illustrates the biblical concept of salvation by grace – it is not earned through good works or religious deeds but is a free gift of faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). Emeth expected punishment but Aslan judges him based on the purity of his heart and grants him salvation. Good works cannot earn salvation, only humble faith in the true God.
6. Christ’s Victory over Death
Aslan allowing himself to be sacrificed but then resurrecting portrays Christ’s victory over death on the cross and through his resurrection. Though Aslan endures humiliation and death by evil powers, he returns victorious and defeats death through deeper magic. This symbolizes how Christ rose triumphant over the grave, defeating sin and death forever (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). The resurrected Christ ensures eternal life for his faithful followers.
Aslan’s Country represents heaven, the holy dwelling place of God. All the characters enter this paradise after going through trials and judgments. Here there is eternal peace, joy and harmony for all God’s creatures. This beautiful depiction of heaven parallels the biblical promises of Paradise restored where God will dwell with his people forever, free from all sorrow, pain and death (Revelation 21:1-5)
8. New Creation
Narnia is destroyed yet renewed into an even more glorious realm under Aslan. This symbolizes biblical prophecies about the old world passing away and a new, perfect creation being formed after Christ’s return (2 Peter 3:13). Just as Revelation promises the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven, the new Narnia descends from the heavens even more dazzling than before. God promises to redeem all of creation and restore Paradise on earth through Christ.
9. Judgment of Evil
The evil characters like Shift, Tash and the Tarkaan Rishda meet fitting judgments for their rebellion against Aslan. But the righteous characters are rewarded with eternal life in Paradise. This aligns with the biblical teaching that God’s final judgment will condemn the wicked but vindicate the righteous (Matthew 25:31-46). God allows a time of mercy but evil cannot ultimately prevail. The Last Battle depicts God’s justice and the final end of all rebellion against him.
10. Divine Sovereignty
Aslan’s complete authority over all events highlights God’s sovereignty over creation. Though evil temporarily grows strong and tragedy abounds, Aslan remains in control working all things for an ultimately good purpose. No matter how powerful and dreadful evil appears, it is under God’s authority. This truth provides confidence that God will conclusively defeat all wicked powers and fulfill his purposes.
In summary, The Last Battle contains many rich biblical themes that point to the Christian understanding of the end times, judgement, salvation, and God’s final victory over evil. C.S. Lewis masterfully uses fantasy allegory to illustrate profound spiritual truths about human nature, good versus evil, false religion, and the redemptive work of Christ. For those with eyes to see, Narnia comes to life with biblical wisdom and insight through Aslan’s triumphant tale. The Christian imagination shines brightly in this imaginative conclusion to The Chronicles of Narnia.