Sunday, April 4, 2010


I picked out this really cool Easter video and was going to just post that and let it be. And, if I was smart, I would stick to that plan. But my fingers are still typing. That is a problem. I started writing this blog because I wanted to be taken seriously as a writer. I think that the more I write, the further I get from my goal. Another problem. I have more questions than I have answers. If you are a regular reader, you have probably already figured that one out.

Last night, I spent at least an hour on youtube (one of my favorite hobbies) looking up video footage from JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. I prefer the 1973 stuff because I like the singers better. It was my first community theatre production. I was in the 9th grade and a member of the chorus. If that doesn't sound exciting, well, you would be mistaken. It was thrilling. The chorus is onstage most of the time and there was a lot dancing involved. JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR was another "vehicle" that offered a different perspective on a story I thought I knew. I found myself thinking and wondering and identifying with the Judas character. This guy was a disciple, too, and he loved Jesus. This song was the first song of the play. It was sung by Judas and it is clear how muh he loves Jesus, but can already see this whole thing ending badly if someone doesn't turn things around.

In the end, Judas didn't betray him for the money. He thought Jesus would choose differently. He thought it would all go down differently if Jesus had to make a choice. He didn't think Jesus would choose to die, because he wouldn't have chosen that. We tend to filter what we think other people will do based on what we will do in the same situation. In his own way, he thought he was saving Jesus. It was a plan that went really bad and someone that he loved died. Yeah, every time that play hit the point of Judas realizing that it all had gone *really wrong* at the end, I felt myself tearing up. He couldn't live with that and took his own life. I felt worse for Judas than I did Jesus. So there is someone with no hope juxtaposed against Christ who gave hope to everyone else. Jesus was going to come back to life and go to heaven. Although, the whole crucifixion scene was pretty tough on me, too. If you're familiar with the soundtrack, I was always right there on the song COULD WE START AGAIN, PLEASE. You can click here to hear it on youtube. It is fairly short. Looking back on it all, I am really surprised that I didn't give my sunrise sermon on JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR! Although, I have no doubt that it wouldn't have gone over any better then my OUTSIDERS sermon, although it would have at least been in the right ballpark.

When we were recently in Florida, I attended a Bible study at my parents' church. It was on the passage in Mark when Jesus asked the disciples who the people thought that he was, and they answered with a variety of things, such as a prophet, Elijah, and even John the Baptist. And then Jesus asked them who they thought that he was, and Simon Peter stepped up and said that he was Lord. And Jesus responded that he would build his church on that rock. He then proceeded to lay out his plan, which included being killed. And he said that his followers should also pick up their crosses and follow him. He wasn't speaking metaphorically. He was talking about literally picking up their cross and following him... as in being crucified with him. And Simon Peter, who was the first to speak up and call him Lord, was then the first to speak up and "rebuke" him. The pastor went on about the meaning of rebuke for a while and said that if you've ever been rebuked you will not ever wonder about it, you will know. In other words, it is pretty harsh speaking. Simon Peter didn't like the plan and said so. And then Jesus turned around and rebuked him back and said something like you just said I was Lord and Messiah and you are already questioning me. Obviously, I just did a lot of paraphrasing. But, that was the gist.

Well... once again, I was thinking, I get it. If I were Simon Peter, I would have done the same thing. I know me and I know I would have done it. Yep. I would have followed him for three years and been a Believer. And I would have been making plans. I might not have been sharing them, but in my head I would have been making plans. Think of all the good that The Messiah can do... reform the church, heal the sick, take care of the hunger issues, cure the leprosy problem, clean out the corruption in government, and once we have this country straightened out, we can move on over and take care of Egypt or one of our other neighbors. We've got nothing but time and we can do SO MUCH GOOD. And there are so many people who need so much help. And the more people who see Jesus, the bigger the church gets. It is all good.

That is not the plan that Jesus lays out. Nope. In a very short period of time he plans to get himself crucified and he has just made a general announcement to all of the followers that they if they want to continue on, well then they are going to have to "pick up their cross" too. There is no faster way to break up a band of followers than that! So, from Simon Peter's perspective, this is not a good plan. Bad plan. Bad. And he says so.

There is no mention of the conversation that Jesus and Simon Peter had later. However, I think that there must have been one. I don't think that they left it there, with each of them rebuking the other. There was too much love in that relationship for there not to have been a follow-up, but it must have been a private conversation and it got left out. {Something got left out, you say? Well, yeah. There is no record of Jesus ever going to the bathroom, but I think that he did. So things got left out.} And in that conversation, they each sat down and shared where they were coming from and they worked it out.

I grew up in the church and by the time I hit high school I knew my Bible really well. My problem was that I was having a really hard time relating to it in the way that everyone at church expected me to relate. So, I got really good at being "spot on" with the facts. That meant that in Sunday School you could call on me and I could give the teacher the answer that I knew he wanted to hear. I was reading Bible in my spare time to try and find meaning and only finding questions. Yeah, it made me more knowledgeable at church, but it didn't give me solace. Things only went from bad to worse, when I found out that a large group of my fellow youth groupers were calling me "Princess" behind my back. My ability to answer the question when no else would or could had garnered me a name that suggested that I thought I was better than everyone else. Well, that couldn't have been further from the truth. While I was busy trying to get a handle on God, the rest of the people in my Youth Group were busy making me persona non grata. By this time, I pretty much had no one to sit with, as everyone had decided that I was a snob and so I was banned from the "cool kids" club. I tried to opt out of the church service all together by watching the nursery school kids until I got booted out of there. By the time, I graduated high school, I was looking for excuses not to go to church because the Christians at my church (and in my peer group) were mean.

Well, I can't leave this blog on that negative sentence. Easter is all about hope. You might read this blog and it might not have touched your heart at all. That's fine. You might read this blog and go "Hmmmm." and that's okay, too. If you read this blog and it changes the way you think AT ALL about ANYTHING then I have achieved something as a writer and a human being. I still read the Bible and I still go to church (sometimes), but I look for what The Bible doesn't say, as much as what it does, in a passage and I think about how the people react with all of their human emotions. And then I think about all of the amazing one on one conversations that I know Jesus must have had that never made it into the Bible at all... I know that it was traveling down this path that earned me the nickname Princess back in high school. And here I go again. So,you can call me Princess, but I'd really rather be Wonder Woman. She had that great lasso that made people tell the truth and super strength and the bullet stopping bracelets. I can think of more than a few times that lasso would really have been useful....

Here is the promised peaceful video. It really is wonderful and has a lovely message. I know that this has been long already (sorry for that) but this is worth the four minutes. You can click here to watch it.


  1. Hey, I find it interesting that the first person to truly believe was also the first person to split when it came down to brass tacks...what judas and peter couldn't see from their limited perspective was that, as much good as healing the sick, curing the leper and making the blind see does in the temporal sphere, it does nothing in the context of eternity. Jesus saw eternally, peter saw temporally.
    Jesus saw the state of the soul..peter saw the fate of the world as it exists on our limited physical plane.
    As pharisees (which I am fairly sure peter was) he would not have believed in an after life...therefore, as jesus spoke of death..all peter saw was the end of what the Jews ( and Jesus' followers) hoped would be an earthly messianic rule....Jesus on the throne of David as described in the torah.
    That is why Jesus emphasis on his kingdom 'not being of this world' was so crucial to his disciples understanding of the situation...and I think should make us feel better...Cause if the people with him failed to grasp what was going on, a little confusion on our part is understandable.
    I like to see people study the bible.
    I don't call you princess....I call you a child of God.

  2. I kinda feel for Judas, too! I always felt sorry for him...

    Thanks for the last video on kindness that we too often confuse with being polite. Kindness is indeed so much more!

  3. There's a Book of Judas out now that some say was edited from the Bible... about how Jesus specifically asked Judas to betray him and Judas didn't want to.

    Interesting stuff. Not sure if it makes it better or worse if Jesus asked Judas to turn him in...

    I hope you had a lovely Easter, Robin :)


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