This scene is my favorite from the movie version of the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar”. It is not in the original stage version. It is also the least “biblical” part of this rock opera, but, I think, the most human.
The rational and practical Judas saw thing coming to a head as Jesus kept on pushing up the stakes in his mission. Now, the rest of the apostles and the disciples were also seeing where things we leading to. They want to call timeout and to start again. Things were getting out of control and theirs is a plaintive cry of “Could we start again, please!” But they know that life does not give time-outs and when things rush headlong, the inevitable (bitter ending) happens.
I often pray asking God to act as God in the way I want to or need him to. Thus, I often get it wrong. It should be the other way around: God does his God-thing and I align my life to his will and his plan.
The followers of Jesus were asking if they could have a replay; although they know that life is not like that. And yet, here was a God, who believes in second chances. Event do not get rewound but our God is a God of second chances. He preached not only as gospel of love but also a gospel of forgiveness. Forgiveness gives everyone a another chance to do or get things right.
This God of Second Chances is also the God of the Unexpected. The disciples in this scene knew in their hearts of hearts that they were not getting a replay and that thing will unravel to their frightening, atrocious ending – their leader will be condemned and crucified as a common criminal.
And then, the unexpected happens! Most human stories would have ended at Jesus’ death on Calvary. But the God of the Unexpected turns utter defeat into one glorious turn-around. He raises the dead Jesus from the tomb. The real Deus ex machina. The story does not end there either. There is the Ascension. And then there is Pentecost. And the story keeps on unfolding to this very day. The great Paschal Mystery lives on today in our lives and in our hearts.