Blasphemy, Easter, Film, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ Superstar, Movie Villainy, Movies, religion, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Passion
Can you see the truth of what I am saying?
Because not everyone can see this. Some consider the topic just too boring to bother with. They’d rather watch a slasher flick. Others are too busy with their prayers. Jesus is too beautiful to them, too noble, too good, too strong, too gentle, too much of a blank check upon the bank account of all things warm and wonderful.
They cannot see it. But Jesus can be downright terrifying.
The Prince of Peace makes an awesome movie villain.
Just ask the merchants in the temple! Yes, that would be the one Jesus trashed, because apparently commerce is supposed to be a bad thing. Just a temper tantrum, you say? Well tell that to someone whose entire livelihood has just been trashed by a madman. A madman who threatens to destroy the very temple of God Himself.
Do not think, he didn’t warn us my friends. Jesus told everyone about his nefarious plans. He told us that he came bringing a sword. He told us that he came to destroy our families. He told us that we would have to forsake everything we know and love to join his kingdom.
And I ask you, what sort of dark kingdom begins with the abandonment of one’s own family?
Let us not even mention the practice of necromancy! Well, okay, yes, let’s go there. Do not imagine that little girl was the only time this fisher of men came to practice the dark arts. On this matter (and many others), the dear Lord is definitely a repeat offender. Seriously, when in the Hell does someone raise the dead and NOT end up as the principle villain of the story? Oh I’m not talking about accidentally awakening a Mummy. That gets you an hour of running and a hero status when you finally beat the bad guy back into the ground. No, I am talking about the deliberate act of pulling a dead man out of the grave and setting him back to walking about the earth. And Jesus did it at least twice!
There is a reason the name of Frankenstein fills us with terror, but Jesus gets a free pass on this one, does he?
And then of course of course there is his skillful use and disposal of Judas. Even as the man betrays Jesus with a kiss, Jesus himself has willed the whole thing to happen, …from the moment of creation, so some folks say. And thus does Judas play into the great cosmic scheme, a lamb for the sins of man. But who is the real sacrifice here? And how wicked is the villain that has chosen a single man for the greatest crime of all history? How wicked is the puppet-master who could bring his chosen victim to accept eternal damnation …with a kiss?
How did he do it? Well great movie villains work in mysterious ways.
Not even the Cylons of the new Battlestar Gallactica series could manipulate humans with such ease and skill. Neither Darth Vader, nor Sauron, nor Scorpius from Farscape have ever had such an elusive evil plan! Professor Moriarty could only dream of such eloquence. Christopher Walken was never so creepy in all his career! And the Devil in all his movie incarnations has never, NEVER, been so menacing.
The question you have to ask is just why everyone found this fellow so frightening to begin with? Why is that this Jesus must die?
The Romans, The Pharisees, even apparently the average man on the street came to call for the blood of the lamb.
So we are told anyway!
But were they really so short-sighted, so bloodthirsty as to want the death of a miracle worker and healer? Or did they know something the rest of us seem to have forgotten? Did they see into the depths of the darkness? Did they know just how terrible this villain really was?
It’s a damn good question, I tell you.
Note: The original version of this post included a lot of links to various movies. I really was talking about Jesus as a movie character and using the videos to illustrate the point. Anyway, dead links happen. So, I took most of them down. Left up Judas, cause, yeah.
Well, I don’t think anyone is going to say you avoid controversy! Or is it irony? In any case, best to keep the door locked and hope there is lamb’s blood on your door!
LOL, …This may just be one of my least critical statements on the subject at hand. I really debated giving Judas the last word, …ironically, because most seem to see that take that song as a hopeful bit of testimony..
“…because apparently commerce is supposed to be a bad thing.” You lost my respect and attention after this early statement you made to lean your audience your direction. You missed this point in The Word and I’m sure you missed the others, also. But, I love you and pray for your soul.
Actually that is a terrible line. definitely not the most creative moment in the piece, but seriously! It was an attempt to “lean my audience” my direction? Is that actually a criticism?
I shall have to live with the loss of your attention and your respect. So be it. Let’s be clear about one thing though. What you say to your god is your business, not mine, but wrapping up a criticism by telling someone you will pray for their soul is quite an hypocritical gesture.
Howzabout this? Unlike Mr. Hooker, I do not love you… and I will not pray for your soul. I’ll just encourage you to post more frequently… where ya’ been?
Thank you very much. I am a bit under the gun right now, but I had to pay my respects on Easter. As the semester winds down I should soon resume posting. Hope all is well in your neck of the net.
As a Christian, I believe I’m to be paerpred to meet my Maker at any moment, not that I’m a pessimist. As a Minister of the Gospel, in your personal beliefs, do you believe that the end of the world is coming in 2012 and that we Christians should prepare for the true ‘end’ rather than be seeking places to “ride out the storm” as lots of other folks seem to be doing? The consensus seems to be that the end of the world, ‘as we know it’ is coming, but we just need to survive it and adjust. Do you believe we’re going to have any options?
Trololo. Now I see why you appreciated my post about the Easter Bunny. Nicely played, sir. =P
Keya Majoomdar said:
Good one, Northier…
I’ve always thought Judas was hard done by.
Pope Benedict is the obvious villain though. You ever see this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PVb7HH85hA
A very funny post. Thanks for reframing JC Superstar, too. It’s such a serious take!
Always loved that movie. (Shhh! don’t tell anyone.)
I just saw the play on Broadway. A really nicely choreographed interpretation.
I know the original cast recording by heart. (Don’t you tell either.)
I love it when a non scholar, who understands nothing of the Jewish tradition, 1st century Palestine culture, and the world of the Romans attempt to do some exegetical work to demonstrate that Christ was the villain.
This is the problem when they just give anyone a blog.
Thank you! Your post has brightened my day considerably.
Sure thing! Glad it helped you out.
Hilariously irreverent. I sometimes thing the most frightening thing about Jesus, though, is the atrocities done in his name.
PARTNERING WITH EAGLES said:
You can see through the Hollywood bias in westerns, why use them as a benchmark for Christs life? The biblical telling of His thrashing the moneychangers in His fathers house:
King James Version (KJV)
12And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
13And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
14And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.
15And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,
16And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
Christ lived the perfect life; otherwise He could not be the substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. The “last temptation…” is an abominable movie.
Actually, I don’t think much of Last Temptation either at this point, though my objection is probably not yours. I simply can’t handle the degree of neuroses in that portrayal of Jesus. He is more of a Woody Allen character than anything else, and I think it weakens the central plot theme, namely his temptation. I also think they could have cut it down a great deal.
Anyway, just to be clear, I am not making any real historical claims in this post. Rather, the point is to comment on his portrayal in the movies themselves. Some might disagree with my take on even that subject, but they would probably also disagree with the other characters in my series on Great Movie Villains. Some folks just don’t seem to see the dark side of Dorothy, Princess Butter Cup, or Tiny Tim.