On Sunday, April 1, 2018, a new production of Jesus Christ Superstar will be shown to the world, staring John Legend. Very few of us today remember the original production that was presented on October 12, 1971. At the time this rock opera was shown to the world, the Jesus People Movement was beginning. Many young people were being introduced to Jesus by pastors who were starting to teach through the Bible and present the incredible life of Jesus to a new generation.
I was a part of this movement and was immediately intrigued by the singularity of Jesus. I had never seen or heard anyone like Jesus and when I read the words He spoke and saw the way that He treated people, I was drawn to Him.
That was nearly 44 years ago and I am still amazed by His life and words. I began following Jesus in April of 1975 and have remained His friend since that time.
This new production of Jesus Christ Superstar is not an authentic representation of who Jesus is, nor the manner in which the New Testament presents Him. There is only one purpose of this production: to mock, discredit and malign the true Jesus.
Those who watch this new production with John Legend will not see the true Jesus, but one who is weak, unsure of who He is, and not the Son of God whom the Four Gospels present to us.
I am including text from an article that came out in 1971, where the lyrics for the songs that will be sung during this presentation by John Legend and others, is revealed. The author makes observations about how the lyrics misrepresent the true Jesus of the Bible and is quite informative.
I will not be watching this travesty as I cannot bear to see my dear friend, Jesus, misrepresented and mocked. This is not entertainment, nor is it a spiritual journey towards knowing who Jesus is. This musical production is a lie and just one more injustice that will be perpetrated on the greatest person who has ever lived.
For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!” ~Mark 14:21 (NLT)
“Jesus Christ Superstar”
Owen H. Thomas
Camden, South Carolina, 1971
There seems to be no end to the methods Satan will use to destroy faith in God, in Christ, and in the Bible. The widely publicized and popular rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, is but another bold attack against the deity of Jesus and the truthfulness of the Bible. A greater distortion of the Bible and of the real character of Jesus would be hard to imagine. It depicts Jesus as being only a man who is deceived into thinking he is God’s Son. As a man he is depicted as being immoral by having a love affair with Mary Magdalene, who is supposed to be a harlot that has “had so many men before.”
In the opening song, “Heaven On Their Minds,” Judas is speaking to Christ and says:
“Jesus! You’ve started to believe
The things they say of you
You really do believe
This talk of God is true.”
This is even a misrepresentation of Judas for he believed Jesus was speaking the truth. In Matt. 27:4 Judas said, “I have betrayed the innocent blood.” One of the charges against Jesus was that he claimed to be the Son of God. The only way he could be innocent regarding this charge was by being what he claimed.
In the opera when Jesus is instituting the “Lord’s Supper,” he says:
“For all you care this wine could be my blood
For all you care this bread could be my body
I must be mad thinking I’ll be remembered — yes
I must be out of my head!
Look at your blank faces!
My name will mean nothing
Ten minutes after I’m dead!”
Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus manifest doubt as to whether the apostles would remember him after his death. In Matt. 26:29 he promises to eat the Supper again with them in the “Father’s kingdom.” He knew this would be after his death and that they would be remembering him by eating the “Lord’s Supper.” Furthermore, Jesus never accused the eleven of not caring about him as is implied in the statement above.
When the opera comes to the scene in the garden of Gethsemane, in the song, “I Only Want To Say,” Jesus is supposed to be talking to God and says:
“Can you show me now that I would not be killed in vain?
Show me just a little of your omnipresent brain
Show me there’s a reason for your wanting me to die
You’re far too keen on where and how and not so hot on why.”
Read the accounts in Matt. 26; Mk. 14; Lk. 22; and Jno. 17 and you will see that Jesus never questioned the wisdom of God; nor did he criticize God for withholding His reason for Jesus’ death. Jesus knew why (Jno. 3:1415; Matt. 20:28), how (Jno. 12:32-33), when (Matt. 26:18, 45), and where (Matt. 16:21) he would die. This song ends with these words:
“I will drink your cup of poison, nail me to the cross and break me
Bleed me, beat me, kill me now — before I change my mind.”
Jesus never once considered changing his mind about obeying the Heavenly Father’s will. To accuse him of such is to make him a liar for he declared “I do always the things that are pleasing to him” (Jno. 8:29). Even as he prayed in the garden he said, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39). Nor did Jesus consider his having to die as one who would drink a “cup of poison.” He spoke of his death as an act of love (Jno. 10: 11- 14).
When the mob comes to arrest Jesus and Peter drew his sword to defend the Lord, they report Jesus as saying:
“Put away your sword
Don’t you know that it’s all over?
It was nice but now it’s gone
Why are you obsessed with fighting?
Stick to fishing from now on.”
Thus, they depict Jesus as believing that the grave is the end; that his claim of life after death is false, and therefore, Peter should forget about everything Jesus had taught him and return to his fishing. This whole plot is a lie. “Then saith Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Or thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father, and he shall even now send me more than twelve legions of angels? How then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matt. 26:52-54).
Finally when Jesus is brought before Pilate, in this opera, he says:
“I have got no kingdom in this world-I’m through, through, through …
There may be a kingdom for me somewhere — if I only knew.”
Jesus knew his kingdom was “not of this world” (Jno. 18:36), but he never once doubted that he possessed a spiritual kingdom. One of the last promises he made to his disciples before his arrest was, “I appoint unto you a kingdom, even as my Father appointed unto me, that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom” (Lk. 22:29-30).
These are only a few examples of the many perversions which are found in the script of Jesus Christ Superstar. The album sells for $10.98 at the local record shop here in Camden, and I understand that it has already sold over one million copies. It is amazing what a high price the Devil can charge for his perverted gospel and still get millions to buy it. This rock opera may portray “the modem interpretation of the last few days of Jesus life” as they claim in their advertisements, but it does not portray the interpretation of the inspired writers of the New Testament. The thing about it that amazes me most is the claim of some Christians that they cannot see anything wrong with it. But then Jesus did say some would close their eyes lest they should see (Matt. 13:15). Its whole design is to destroy faith in Jesus as God’s Son and makes a mock of all who believe him to be so. It depicts him as a mentally mad, would-be king, who failed in his quest for power. It ends with his death. Nothing is said about his resurrection. Thus, by implication they make his death the end and deny the one fact that proves his deity.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 1, pp. 10-12
November 4, 1971
Categories: A poor representation of Jesus, Causing Division in Jesus Church, Controversy, Empirical Evidence for the Resurrection, Following Jesus, Jesus, Jesus Christ Superstar, Jesus Cross is Offensive, Living For Jesus, No Compromise, Pleasing the Lord, Robert Clifton Robinson