I have written about my favourite rock opera, Jesus Christ SuperStar before. Yet, the Gethsemane scene came to mind once again recently, as the ultimate portrayal of torturous self-doubt and sheer necessity of faith.This is the culmination of the rock opera, as Jesus comes to Gethsemane garden in Jerusalem to pray the night before the crucifixion.
Glen Carter, 2000
Listening to the monologue in full, I realize Jesus could have been one of my clients, trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, to eat better, to lose weight, or to gain muscle (or in this specific case, to decide whether to allow others to nail him to the cross or not).
Initial enthusiasm is gone, and the prospect of being nailed to the cross does not seem as lucrative. And, quite frankly, it sounds like a hassle. He is not convinced. Where’s the guarantee that he would get results?
1. He talks about his waning motivation…
I have changed I’m not as sure As when we started Then I was inspired Now I’m sad and tired
2. He doubts whether doing as he is told would make any difference…
Why I should die Would I be more noticed Than I ever was before? Would the things I’ve said and done Matter any more?
3. He wants proof before he fully commits…
Can you show me now That I would not be killed in vain?
4. He’s tried everything else…
After all I’ve tried for three years Seems like ninety
Big things require faith.
You will not always have the answers. You do not always get to know why. You have to believe first.
You have to leap. You have to trust.
Yet, it is scary as shit. So, you question.
You waver. You wonder. You worry.
It may not be easy. It may not be fair.
But that’s how faith works.
I hope you can believe. [It’s not like you are contemplating potential crucifixion here].
*I cannot decide if I like the original 1973 version by Ted Neeley better. What about you?
I only want to say If there is a way Take this cup away from me For I don’t want to taste its poison Feel it burn me, I have changed I’m not as sure As when we started Then I was inspired Now I’m sad and tired Listen surely I’ve exceeded Expectations Tried for three years Seems like thirty Could you ask as much From any other man?
But if I die See the saga through And do the things you ask of me Let them hate me, hit me, hurt me Nail me to their tree I’d want to know I’d want to know my God I’d want to see I’d want to see my God Why I should die Would I be more noticed Than I ever was before? Would the things I’ve said and done Matter any more?
If I die what will be my reward? If I die what will be my reward? I’d have to know I’d have to know my Lord
Why, why should I die? Oh, why should I die? 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 But not so hot on why Alright I’ll die! Just watch me die! See how, see how I die! Oh, just watch me die!
Then I was inspired Now I’m sad and tired After all I’ve tried for three years Seems like ninety Why then am I scared To finish what I started What you started I didn’t start it God thy will is hard But you hold every card I will drink your cup of poison Nail me to your cross and break me Bleed me, beat me Kill me, take me now Before I change my mind