Did you think we were done talking about Jesus Christ Superstar?

Because we’re not.  This here’s a straight shot of Essence of Gospel, distilled into under five minutes and jazzed up seventies-style.

See if you can spot Simon the Zealot in each clip.  “Why are you so obsessed with fighting times and fates you can’t defy?”

And ah, there’s our friend Judas, making an ass of himself.

Who are you to criticize her?
Who are are you to despise her?
Leave her leave her, let her be now!
Leave her leave her, she’s with me now!

I like that.  There’s three of my favorite Gospel stories distilled into that exchange between Jesus, Mary and Judas.  Stories that underscore Jesus’ eccentric and subversive habit of embracing the unclean.  Mystifying, indeed, but that’s the whole point.  “She doesn’t fit in well / With what you teach and say.”  I alluded last time to Judas missing the point, well here it is.  The Magdalene is what He teaches and says.

I may note in passing, on a more secular note, that the lady playing Mary Magdalene in the 2000 version is fine.  And she’s got a swell voice , too:

I know some folks who freak out a little over that one line: “he’s a man.  He’s just a man.”  Because, you know, the whole divinity thing.

I think they may be missing the point as badly as the people who take Nietzsche’s “God is dead” line out of context (outside our purview for today, but for the record, a fictional character in one of Nietzsche’s books said that, and he didn’t say it like it was a good thing, either.  Giving Nietzsche crap for that is like attributing to C. S. Lewis the dialogue from the villain of Perelandra).  Mary Magdalene thinks He’s just a man.  And really, looking at the subtext here, I’d say even she’s far from sure of that.  She’s trying to convince herself that He’s just a man, and she’s having to work at it, because what He is is frightening.


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