My husband and I look forward to watching the “Jesus Christ Superstar” movie, among a few others, each year at Easter time. I know that there are different takes on this film, and many even believe it to be blasphemous. I understand these thoughts and opinions and respect them. There are many scenes that make me wince.
Because, on the surface, the movie does indeed look to be disrespectful and blasphemous to Jesus and his divinity. That is the intent…being that the characters are human, as we all are human.
In my opinion, the music and the casting of characters is absolutely heart touching and as perfect as worldly art can be. When losing myself in the words and feelings communicated through the music and lyrics, I am drawn inward…to how we are connected to these characters, no matter what their flaws and sins happen to be.
For the last couple of days, “King Herod’s Song” keeps playing over and over again in my head. Much of the lyrics jump out at me and pull me in.
Maybe you will understand my take on these words and how they help to enlighten my spirit and draw me closer to Jesus and his mercy.
Here are the lyrics:
Jesus, I am overjoyed
To meet You face to face.
You’ve been getting quite a name
All around the place.
Healing cripples Raising from the dead.
And now I understand You’re God……
At least that’s what You’ve said.
So You are the Christ
You’re the great Jesus Christ.
Prove to me that you’re divine
Change my water into wine.
That’s all you need do
And I’ll know it’s all true.
C’mon King of the Jews.
Jesus, you just won’t believe
The hit you’ve made around here.
You are all we talk about
The wonder of the year!
Oh, what a pity If it’s all a lie…
Still I’m sure that you can rock
The cynics if you try.
So if you are the Christ
You’re the great Jesus Christ
Prove to me that You’re no fool
Walk across my swimming pool.
If You do that for me
Then I’ll let you go free.
C’mon, King of the Jews!
I only ask things I’d ask any superstar.
What is it that you have got
That puts You where You are?
I am waiting, yes, I’m a captive fan
I’m dying to be shown
That You are not just any man.
So if you are the Christ
Yes, the great Jesus Christ
Feed my household with this bread
You can do it on your head.
Or has something gone wrong?
Why do You take so long?
Come on, King of the Jews!
Hey, aren’t you scared of me, Christ?
Mr. Wonderful Christ..
You’re a joke, You’re not the Lord!
You are nothing but a fraud!
Take Him away He’s got nothing to say
Get out, You King of the get out
Get out, You King of the Jews
Get out, You King of the Jews
Get out of my life!
“King Herod’s Song (Jesus Christ Superstar/Soundtrack Version)” by Josh Mostel
Wow…what a deluge of ideas to cover. So many thoughts and emotions are triggered by the words themselves, and also the delivery by King Herod. The actor, Josh Mostel, certainly portrayed the part to a tee…filled with the arrogance of the life he has immersed himself in.
However, there is the faintest glimmer of hope and curiosity about the man, Jesus. Could he really be God?
King Herod has heard about the miracles that Jesus has performed, and he is aware that there is something special about him.
He wants Jesus to be God…in the way that he wants him to be God. He wants Jesus to perform miracles for him, on command, to prove Jesus’ divinity, in a way that will appease his doubts in the tangible way that he desires.
All the time King Herod is asking for miracles, he is still enmeshed in the ways of the world…in his sinful life. While he would like proof that Jesus is Lord, he refuses to open his heart to the Truth, by keeping it shut tight within the company of perversion and worldly pleasure.
When Jesus does not perform on demand, and there are no evident miracles, the last line is very telling for all of us…
Get out, You King of the Jews… Get out of my life!
When we don’t want to change, or things don’t go as we think they should, we don’t want the “burden” of having Jesus in our lives. We don’t want the guilt of admitting we are sinners. We keep him at arm’s length, and even banish him completely, in order for us to stay “comfortable” in our current life choices.
We are living in a time of great delusion, perversion, and immorality. We have lost the ability to love each other, and in many cases, do not even have a clue as to how to have a real and true relationship with those that God places in our lives.
We are engrossed in our own circle of diversion that blind us to the Truth…which is Jesus.
In times of trouble we beg God to change our lives and perform miracles for ourselves and our loved ones.
All the while, surrounded with our arrogant and sinful lives. We have the audacity to ask for miracles, for God to prove he is God, at the same time that we refuse to even consider changing our lives.
We surround ourselves with distractions…movies, music, books, fashion, politics, culture, spiritualism, fleshly desires, and miss what has always been right in our grasp. Just like Herod, and his “posse.”
Did you notice the line, “I’m dying to be shown that You are not just any man.” Yes, our spirits are dying, and in need of Jesus’ saving grace. Our souls are longing to be saved.
If we only dare to break away from the deceit and sin that we have surrounded ourselves in…and humbly ask Jesus into our hearts and lives. To choose to believe, and then pray that Jesus blesses us with the gift of faith.
And we must be willing to walk away from the ideas and things that are holding us captive in our self-imposed desolation.
Only then will we realize full relationship with Jesus…by trusting him and his ways in our lives, even when we might not see our prayers being answered in the way we think they should be.
My prayer is that in the midst of our confusion and the deceit that the world is surrounding us with, that we allow Jesus to shine his light into our souls and illuminate the darkness that resides within us.
And that we take that crucial step of faith toward the mercy and grace that Jesus is offering us…and allow him to start peeling away the layers of deception that have kept us from him.
Only then will we understand the miracles that are happening around us each and every moment. Even when we do not “demand” those miracles.
Jesus replied, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” Matt 4:7
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14