Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jeus Christ Superstar Again.

I don't really dislike Jesus Christ Superstar, in fact I kind of like it as, until The Passion of the Christ, no other movie truly captured the despair and bewilderment of the Disciples as they watched Jesus die. I disagree with its message but like so many things about it.

I understand the real meaning of the movie a little differently though. All through most of recent history most "progressives" tried to some degree to claim Jesus as one of them, even though He wasn't. Politically they needed Him because He was considered the paragon of goodness, and if socialism is good then the paragon of goodness must be a socialist. If there was something that Liberals and Conservatives, at that time, agreed on it was that Jesus was the epitome of Goodness.

The problem is that He was not a socialist, nor was He a political revolutionary, though He was a spiritual one. Around 1970 an increasing number of "progressives" began to realize that Jesus really wasn't part of their camp so they needed to diminish Him. (Prior to that even most Atheists were loath to belittle Him.)

In the movie, Judas seems to represent those who desire a political Messiah rather than a spiritual one. Judas is shown as betraying Christ, not for money, but out of disappointment that He is more concerned with salvation rather than elevating the poor.

From the opening song by Judas.
My mind is clearer now.
At last all too well
I can see where we all soon will be.
If you strip away The myth from the man,
You will see where we all soon will be. Jesus!
You've started to believe
The things they say of you.
You really do believe
This talk of God is true.
And all the good you've done
Will soon get swept away.
You've begun to matter more
Than the things you say.

In the movie, I understand that it portrays what was then the extreme left getting ready to abandon Jesus as the shining star guiding human history and started to look to others. When that failed they started to twist the teachings of Jesus into liberation theology which is nothing more than Communism with a silver cross around the neck, rather than a blood covered cross at Golgotha.

As I read the talk of Jeremiah Wright, and his mentor, the black racist James Cone, my mind goes back to the Judas of this movie. The real Jesus, Who really existed in time and space, who truly was the perfect, one time only, blending of the Human and the Divine, the rightful ruler of all mankind, does not fit into their progressive ideas, just as the Jesus talking salvation instead of liberation did not fit into the Superstar's Judas' vision of liberation.

Jesus was crucified by those whose minds were entirely in this world. They included Romans who feared his popularity, Sadducees who feared for their temple business and Pharisees who saw a loss of their personal prestige. Jesus was not crucified by those thinking of Heaven. Had there been Socialists in Jesus day, they too would have crucified Him for exactly the same reason Judas betrayed Him in Jesus Christ Superstar.



Yes it's true. We do have Heaven on our minds and it gives us hope in the darkness that seems to fill our world. We know that the "liberation" that some offer is merely slavery to the state. The only liberation that Jesus promised was liberation from sin, death and despair. That does not interest those who have only this world on their minds.

5 Comments:

Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Well you know that I'm not a Christian like you (and I detest Jesus Christ Superstar mostly because the music is so insipid and monotonous) but I do believe that Jesus redeemed us all by his life and death. Also I cringe when socialists claim him for their own. What do they know of sacrifice?

1:41 AM  
Blogger dons_mind said...

i dunno sr - - in my readings i've learned that there were many so-called messiah's running around back in those times. most were playing the political part, some where playing the religious part hoping for the political gain upon religious acceptance and others simply claimed to be the Jewish Messiah for their own mental convenience. it was a popular thing at the time - and the messiah was something the Jews were hoping for and praying for. Jesus was neither political nor of the religious nature that the Jews were hoping for. it's an interesting period to study - when you contrast the religious events of the time with the social events of the time and then toss in the political happenings - it was quite a period in world time.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Now there's a flashback to the '70s.
Yeah Jesus wouldn't be any more popular here today as he was there and then. and a lot of people who like to think themselves "Christians" would be right there with the Pharisees! some things never change.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

What an outstanding post, Shoprat, although I never saw the movie. You said that liberation from sin, death and despair does not interst those who have only this world on their minds, and that's so true! It also doesn't interest many of them because it wouldn't let them induldge in their selfish and sometimes wicked lifestyles. Most people who truly believe in our Lord would not be lolling around on the internet having sex or exposing themselves. Believing in Christ also calls for personal responsibility and treating others as you would like to be treated. I see an increased lack of that every single day.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I'd like to clarify that I'm truly not talking about everyone who doesn't believe in Jesus. But there is definitely an increased lack of morality in this country and not believing in either Jesus or any higher power is certainly part of the problem.

5:08 PM  

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