“Jesus knew he had come from God and would go back to God. He also knew that the Father had given him complete power.” John 13:3
It’s no secret that I really enjoy the music of Jesus Christ Superstar. In many ways, I think they capture the mood of some of the characters better than any other telling of the passion narrative that I’ve seen. I’m especially a fan of Herod’s Song. Herod and his court were looking for a circus and Jesus refused to play along.
I had a professor once say in class that “Jesus Christ Superstar helped me realize that Jesus was a real man…I was 21 before I realized that Jesus wasn’t made of flannel.”
That being said, I have a real problem with some key elements of the musical and the film. Of course, the lack of a reference to the resurrection is problematic. Years ago, my good friend, Greg, argued that you can see a silhouette in the sunset at the end of the film, giving a hint that Jesus did ultimately rise from the dead. I disagree with him, but that’s neither here nor there. Even if they’d somehow made a cursory reference to an empty tomb, the message of Jesus Christ Superstar is loud and clear: Jesus let everything get out of control. He was a victim of a power-play by the Pharisees to protect their clout.
Just as things are about to get extremely dark and depressing and seemingly hopeless on this Thursday night, John reminds us that none of this happened outside of Jesus’ influence. None of this happened outside of His control and power. This was no mistake. This was no accident. Jesus knew what was about to happen and he allowed it to happen. He had complete power, after all.
What a powerful message. He allowed this to happen to Him. He did this for you. He did this for me. He did this for all of us.