Codes and Jesus the Superstar

Reading the review of the Da Vinci Code movie over at the Atlasphere (The Da Vinci Code: Fighting Faith and Force) the other day, and noticed one of the links at the bottom of the page labeled "the U.S. Catholic Bishops Brown-bashing site" I found the link intriguing, so I clicked on it.

The actual title of the page was the funny part. "Jesus decoded", it proclaims.

That's a great idea. Maybe they can explain the trick with the fishes and the loaves of bread, or perhaps the walking on water. That would be good to know. The most important trick, of course, would be the changing of water into wine. Very popular at parties, I would imagine.

Too bad this sort of insight wasn't available to Judas 'back in the day'. Might have saved him a lot of missteps. "Who are you, what have you sacrificed?" One of the most memorable lines of lyrics from Jesus Christ Superstar. Judas, as one of the disciples, should have known how to 'decode' Jesus. Obviously it isn't as easy as the Catholic Bishops would have us believe.

A fondness for Jesus Christ Superstar is
one of the few things that remains constant from my days as a 'born again' to my current ascribed atheism. Picked up the DVD the other day and watched the movie for the first time. Alamo Drafthouse aired snippets of it between showings of The Da Vinci Code (written about the movie and the book before) and it intrigued me. I've listened to the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack since the early eighties, but I've never had the occasion to watch the film made from the play. Little did I know that the soundtrack was in fact the original version, created before the play even took shape.

That makes it all the more interesting to me that they chose to alter some of the lyrics from the soundtrack in making the play and the film. One of the most telling lines, to me, has always been Jesus' despairing declaration to the lepers "Heal yourselves!" which is the last line in the song on the soundtrack. The movie uses a much more ambiguous "Leave me alone!" to end that song.

I prefer the more empowering declaration, myself. More fitting in describing what is wrong in the world today. The vast majority of people seem to think that what they need to 'fix' themselves is external to their 'selves'; when, obviously, the answers lie within.

Judas fails to comprehend were the answers lie as well. The movie, album, etc. ends with Judas still asking questions of Jesus (which still plays quite well) when the real question is why Judas would turn in the man he professes to love.

Jesus Decoded, indeed.

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