Recently Carly mentioned the movie Jesus Christ, Superstar. We have a book of music we purchased when we got our piano, and a couple of the songs in it are from that musical. She wondered what it was. Now, being a musical junkie, I just happened to have a copy on VHS. We dug it out one evening and she and I began our journey.
Compared to today's standards, the quality of the movie wasn't great, and neither was the acting. I must admit, I hadn't see the movie in years. As I watched it this time, I was watching with my "mom eyes" so that I would be able to answer any of Carly's questions. It definitely made a difference in how I felt about the movie at the end. I found many instances where I sat back and went "Wow"...
I probably wouldn't use the movie as a tool to bring people to Christ (I doubt that there are any movies I would use for that - but I've never seen the much touted Jesus Film). Yet, I often felt that much of what was shown along with many of the songs was very relevant to today's society. One of the first songs that struck me as such was "What's the Buzz"...and that song has stuck with me over the past two weeks.
When we first hear this song Jesus is beginning to serve the Last Supper...while he is talking the disciples begin to sing one by one... 'what's the buzz, tell me whats a happening'... adding to the volumn until Jesus can barely be heard. The song is played again later in the movie..and both times I was struck with this thought.... How often are we so busy asking 'what's the buzz' that we are drowning out the answers being given to us by Christ? I would guess that we are all guilty of this more often than not.
At the end of the movie, Carly had a lot of questions. Being only 15 she isn't very familiar with the "hippie culture" that was represented in the movie. I did my best to help pull things together for her, and I hope that I was able to sort out the story line for her. The movie ends much as it begins...with the group of actors re-entering the bus they arrived on. One by one the camera panned the face of those who got back into the bus...one by one those faces turned towards the lone empty cross sitting on a hillside. Those faces were filled with a sadness and a longing. As the last person gets on the bus, Carly looked over and said, "Where is the man who played Jesus...he didn't get back on the bus?" The answer...no he didn't.
I believe the reason for that is simple...even the retelling of the story of the life and death of Christ is so powerful, that to have seen the actor return to the bus would have diluted the movie's impact. The changes on the faces of those shown was powerful, and the viewer should be left with that longing to know more about the life, death and resurrection of the man who was no longer visible.
So, the next time you are seeking a conversation with the Lord...think about this song. Stop talking, stop thinking, stop asking what's the buzzz...and just listen. And go back and revisit the Jesus Christ, Superstar Era... it's amazing how different you see things when you are really looking for reasoning behind each scene!