Why I think "Jesus Christ Superstar" is a good Easter movie.

Sunday, March 31, 2013
For those who celebrate- Happy Easter from MFAMLG!

I spent last night at a mass- my first one ever- watching my son get baptized. It was interesting, and while I'm not there spiritually I always try to get something out of everything I can. What I took from last night was that priorities are important- and that if you do not carefully make sure your life is on the path you want it to be- you can easily get pulled into the grind.

When I was younger- I was a church-goer. And during those church years the movie "Jesus Christ Superstar" came out. Of course I went to see it. It was considered blasphemous by every adult I knew- and I believed all the reasons for that when they told me what they were. I could list them here but I won't. What I knew was that as a teenager- I loved the music - Ted Neeley was totally hot as 'Jesus', and the movie became a sort of guilty pleasure for me over the years.

Even when I grew up and away from those early roots- I felt the movie was not very "christian"- it was not considered a good "Easter" movie in that regard. But I watched it again recently and I have changed my mind about that.

In the movie Neeley plays Jesus from beginning to end with sincere purpose and spirituality- he does not waver from the principles of the bible or what we know of Jesus' teaching. Those around him- are a different story. Judas is clearly believing this was some kind of 'play' they had orchestrated on the masses and is confused about Jesus believing he is who he says he is, the apostles are very human with all the human frailties- self promotion, doubt, greed perhaps. Mary Magdalene is so drawn to his charisma and kindness she isn't quite sure how she loves him and believes it could be in a very worldly way, and Pontius Pilate and Herod don't really find him to be anything more than an irritant they're forced to deal with for political reasons.

When I watched the movie this time- it occurred to me that it really is a good portrayal. If we had been there- Jesus being who he was and man being who they are- wouldn't it be natural for the apostles to be less than perfect humans with their own doubts, motivations and human frailties? Wouldn't it be acceptable for some people to be so drawn to his charisma and kindness they would mistake their feelings as something other than what they are? And wouldn't it be true to form for any governmental entity to deal with the issue the way they felt it necessary to just keep their constituents happy?

As for Judas- yes- the film does make it appear as if he never had a choice in betraying Jesus, that it was necessary and he had been chosen to be the person and it was going to happen no matter what. But even so, it would be likely that in the middle east during those days- someone close to Jesus surely would have been enticed to betray him for blood money.

Watching "Jesus Christ Superstar" this year- I wouldn't leave it off my Easter list. I still think it tells this story in a unique and entertaining way.

And like all things in life- if you try- you can always get something positive to take away from it.


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