John Legend – Jesus Christ Superstar Review

Welcome Back Readers~

On the heels of such hits like “The Passion: New Orleans” and “The Sound Of Music Live” featuring Carrie Underwood, NBC tried to re-create the magic with their version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Jesus Christ Superstar.” With lyrics by Tim Rice, this 1970’s rock opera follows Jesus’ journey through Jerusalem on the
last seven days leading up to his crucifixion.

On the surface, this musical may seem like a nice introduction of Jesus to those who haven’t heard the gospel; however, there are several biblical inconsistencies. 

  1. Romantic relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene– Despite the sub plot of the musical, there is no evidence that Mary Magdalene had anything other than platonic feelings for Jesus. In fact, little is known about Mary herself except that Jesus drove seven demons out of her (Luke 8:2). After her healing, she becomes faithful follower of Jesus. After the crucifixion, she is the first to find the tomb is empty. What is so special about that? Women weren’t typically believed when it  came to messages of importance in those days. Any romantic relationship was fabricated and even an inappropriate deviation from the Gospel. 
  2. The Portrayal of a Confused Jesus– Throughout the concert, Jesus is portrayed as a confused man- which he is not. Despite being fully man, he is also fully God. Jesus is fully aware of God’s plan to save us from our sin and his part in redemption. In a moment of weakness , he even asks God the Father if there is in the other way to accomplish this goal, saying “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39).
  3. An Incomplete Crucifixion-Resurrection Scene – Although they had John Legend (playing Jesus) on the cross ascending into a blue background with light pouring down from above, this did not accurately portray the complete story. Jesus died on the cross and was physically resurrected to meet with his disciples – demonstrating to all of us the hope of our bodily resurrection. Only after that did Jesus ascend to heaven -physically and bodily. Without the resurrection and reuniting with his believing followers, the musical provides and incomplete Gospel.
I am pleased that the musical brought attention to Jesus at Easter time and that so many artists put their heart into the effort. I only wish that the story had more accurately portrayed the complete Gospel of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and His offer of forgiveness for our sin. 

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