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  2. A Conversation With Ted Neeley, Hollywood's 'Jesus Christ Superstar'
  3. The Morning After: A Dialogue Between Judas Iscariot and Jesus of Nazareth | Eclectic Orthodoxy
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And I have come to you through that tear in the fabric of despair, to touch your life again with healing grace and divine love. And I, of all persons, have passed beyond that limit. My name will be remembered without pity. My act of betrayal is my epitaph. No one weeps for me. You were angry at me, Judas, for reminding you of your failure.

You speak of healing and hope as though there were still time. But time has come to an end for me.

One act of betrayal, like a drop of blood, has spread through the clear water that was my life, contaminating all. I poured it out on the ground. Never again can it be recovered—and if it could, it would be tainted with the blood of betrayal. You feel sadness for what might have been, and despair over the irretrievable loss of your life.

I loved my life and found joy in being your disciple. I really only came alive when you called me to follow you. But I see now that I ran ahead of you and tried to force you into following me! I have had that temptation myself with respect to my Father.

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It is not easy to follow when your own desires are not those of your master. But you did remain faithful, even when others denied you. In the end, you gained your life. In the end, I lost mine. I tried to deny the feelings of love I have for you. But our relationship can never be the same again.

We can never return to our innocence. But the love that has suffered love is not a crippled love: I went beyond denial and even unfaithfulness. I burned the bridge that made our relationship possible. I cut the cord that bound my heart to yours and my hand to heaven. There is no way back. There never was a way back. There is only a way forward. The past can only be returned to us out of the future. Love is greater than faith and hope, because it can heal faithlessness and cure hopelessness. You have awakened in me the memory of love, but not yet the possibility of its renewal.

To know that you did love me is sufficient to understand that I still love you.

My betrayal placed you on the cross just as surely as if I had driven in the nails with my own hands. Not even love can alter the fact that I caused your death. Your betrayal did not put me there. I will always be remembered as the one who betrayed you. I had no explanation to give, no justification for my action.

A Conversation With Ted Neeley, Hollywood's 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

I regretted it immediately—but regret is a bitter tonic that never cures. Betrayal is a transaction between two, the betrayer and the betrayed, with both having a certain power in the exchange. Your power, Judas, was to destroy the relation; mine to preserve it. I tried to deny my love for you and became blind to your love for me. If the sun could have stood still, and the hours and minutes slowed to an imperceptible crawl, there might have been time. Do you think that all we need to redeem ourselves is more time? I speak only of enough time for you to have found me before I took vengeance upon myself by taking my own life.

If betrayal is a transaction between two, death is a solitary act. And you think that by taking your own life you sealed your fate and plunged into the realm that God has forsaken? I have been to the God-forsaken place, Judas. It was on the cross, not in the black hole in your own soul. One death in a God-forsaken way is enough.

Afterwards, they would say, 'My goodness! We had no idea. That started something I've been doing all my professional life.

The Morning After: A Dialogue Between Judas Iscariot and Jesus of Nazareth | Eclectic Orthodoxy

After every show, regardless of what it is, I stay and talk to people. It's the most rewarding experience. I wish you could sit with me and watch what happens. People talk about how this piece has touched their lives -- so deeply, for all these years. And generation after generation, people say the same thing.

People can see the essence of Christ as a human being.

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That's what people have told me from the beginning. For the first time, they actually got to feel the human element of Jesus as opposed to the magnificent spiritual element they had heard about, all their lives, in the church of their choice. As a fellow human being, they can understand that he too was questioning his existence. That made it personal -- a personal relationship that brought them closer to their spiritual connection. Jesus' featured song, "Gethsemane" is an Olympian challenge, emotionally and vocally, to every singer who has signed-on for the role.

In the film, Jesus is not alone in a garden nor sweating blood as he ponders the events to come, while his apostles are snoring away somewhere nearby. Instead, he begins climbing a hill and prays, "I only want to say, if there is a way, take this cup away from me. I'm not as sure as when we started. The sequence occurs an hour into the film. By now we've witnessed the passion of Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene and been stunned by her definitive rendition of "I don't know how to love him". Carl Anderson as Judas has reprimanded Jesus with, "People who are hungry, people who are starving, they matter more than your feet and hair!

A disturbing silence follows. Finally at the top, on the edge of a dangerous precipice, Neeley throws his arms back and screams his wrenching High G to the heavens, "Why! You're far too keen on where and how, but not so hot on why! In a place of about 2, people, everybody knows everybody, and church is what it's all about.

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I wasn't even aware of the Gnostic Gospels until I fell in love with doing this piece. Had I not had the overall background that I was so fortunate to find as a child, I would probably not have been able to do any of this. On the set, Norman Jewison would say to the cast, 'Along the way, if any of you need Biblical lessons, talk to Ted. He's the expert on that. I never was an expert. Many admire his spiritual teachings; some go further and claim him as the messiah, while a few deny he ever existed at all. But everyone has an opinion about this obscure preacher who lived his brief life in one of the less significant regions of the Roman Empire; and who, in being crucified, died the traditional death for criminals and trouble-makers.

Jesus lived in turbulent times. Under Roman rule, Judea was a hotbed of nationalist, political and religious interests, all vying for power. Jesus was caught in the middle of these, allied to none and ultimately reviled by all. What else was new about Jesus? As he would often say: Who are my brothers? Read more Read less. Audible book Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible book with Whispersync for Voice. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser.

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