Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jesus Christ Superstar...

I had an interesting experience yesterday.

For Christmas I got Sirius satellite radio from my parents so during all the driving I do I can always have constant music. It's pretty cool. I especially like the Broadway station which plays show tunes all day and also plays an entire play once a day. Yesterday, in honor of Good Friday, they played Jesus Christ Superstar (the 1996 version), and I caught it just in time. I was on my way home from Columbia to Salem, which meant I got to listen to the entire play from beginning to end. It was really good.

The play itself never really answers the question of Jesus's divinity. It seems to focus more on the people around him and the way they react to the whole thing. This is really nice for me, seeing as I try to take an agnostic (if not negative) stance to the whole "divinity of Jesus" matter. It was really interesting to spend a drive alone listening and just reflecting on the story again, especially in light of Easter.

There was a point when Mary and the other apostles are singing "Could we start again please?" when I started crying. Think about it: Regardless of whether or not Jesus was God, the story is amazing. A man runs around for three years trying to spread a message of love and ends up being betrayed by those who are closest to him. All he does is try to love those around him, he ends up getting a strong following (who often misunderstand him), and he ends up on a cross for it.

It's terribly tragic. It's easy to look back on a story and be removed from it when you read it, but hearing it and thinking about it from a first person perspective really changes things.

I'm not really in a mood to try to use flowery language and get my point across, but I feel like I have a duty to myself to put this idea down. Christianity isn't a crackpot faith of delusional people. Every religion has it's fair share of fundamentalists and Christianity is no different. At it's core though, there is a really moving story about a guy who just wanted to help people. It's cool.


Anonymous said...

Jesus had much wisdom to impart, a radical message of love and compassion and tolerance, and a zen-like in the moment approach. But so little of today's Christianity seems to reflect the actual teachings. He strikes me as having been a very enlightened human, but to my way of thinking when you start throwing literal Heaven and Hell into it, that's when you cross over into something more delusional.

rob winger said...

great post, mark. i hope you go to my blog and make a comment about "all is fair..."

i would agree with citizen of the world about christianity, but i know many followers of Jesus who display his love and compassion and live above the institutional churcha and all it's short comings.
i would disagree about heaven and hell being delusional, but then i was brought up in the church, so i have a hard time thinking in any other terms. i mean, for me--what else is there when you die?
i have been trying to follow Jesus' zen-like approach to living in the moment...being really present where i am and realizing that each moment we have can never be recaptured. viva la vida!

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PeterAtLarge said...

And you might say the same about the Buddha. Though, of course, he didn't get crucified for his pains!