I woke up to the 1973 movie Godspell this Easter morning as it was ending on TCM. I saw it last Easter for the first time. This movie reminded me that there had been a minor revival in the late sixties and early seventies as far as a mainstream awareness of Jesus. Songs like ‘Spirit In the Sky’ and ‘Jesus Is Just Alright With Me’ typified the time. Billy Graham’s crusades were at their peak, and the multi-colored Living Bible was released as it tried to catch the eye of young people. It was quite a time.
Then for the next nearly forty years the movie disappeared. It always seemed to me that those who control Hollywood and the media fear an entertaining and culturally relevant Jesus.
The mainstream Christian denominations back then were also to blame for Godspell’s disappearance. They were so buttoned down back then I don’t think they could get past the modern day hippy portrayal of Jesus and His 12 disciples. Which is a shame, for as far as I could tell, the movie told the actual Gospel message very, very well.
Which is ironic and typical for denominationally centered Christians to not see the forest for the trees. Jesus Himself during His time as a human was a radical and quite scary to the establishment as well. In fact, He scared them so much they killed Him. Well, we all did.