Day 5 Easter Egg – ‘It is Accomplished’ Peter Gabriel – Passion
In the old days you used to get Easter Eggs on DVDs. These were surprise presents like an alternative ending to a movie or an additional live performance. Or say 6 posts in a 5 meaningful songs challenge.
As it is actually Easter, the time for Easter eggs, here is some music from the film The Last Temptation of Christ by Peter Gabriel.
Gabriel spent months researching ethnic music which he incorporated into the soundtrack to give the film an authentic feel. Not content producing mere scraps, literally 30 second snippets for different scenes, he completed each individual piece and a released a full studio album: Passion – the soundtrack’s working title.
It is Accomplished is the penultimate of the 7 sayings of Christ during the crucifixion. I chose it because the music is emotionally joyous. Theologians believe the words signify not resignation but triumph as his death fulfils God’s plan to redeem mankind.
The Last Temptation of Christ is a 1955 novel by Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis. In it Kazantzakis emphasised Christ’s humanity, focusing on how he overcame human suffering and doubt to accept God’s will. Kazantzakis felt Jesus was increasingly portrayed as a god waltzing through his death, secure in the knowledge his divinity made suffering inconsequential. This was not the opinion of the early Church. There were riots and bloodshed between early Christian groups as to whether Christ was both God and Man or merely God – which would negate his suffering.
At the book’s climax, the Devil tempts Jesus. He can come off the cross and live a normal life married to Mary Magdalene. He chooses to defy his last temptation and obey God’s will.
Despite the book emphasising Jesus’ humanity and suffering the Christian Church exploded in anger.
Funny isn’t it, point out priests have been fiddling with kids for decades and all you get is a shrug and ‘Oh well, what can you do eh?’ Suggest Jesus was married and you get excommunicated more times than Madonna: the popstar, not Jesus’ mum.
Nothing is known about Jesus the man outside the Gospels. Customs of the time indicate he probably was married. Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute. Magdala was a very prosperous provincial town. Early Christians had a high regard for Mary Magdalene, she was the first person to witness the resurrection. Gnostic Gospels say Jesus loved her above the other apostles and she is presented as a teacher.
Due to institutional misogyny the role of women in the church was denigrated over the centuries. Mary became identified with various women in the Gospels such as ‘the woman with a issue of blood’ and ‘the woman taken in sin’ who Jesus saves by writing in the sand and saying ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ A story only found inserted into a few versions of John’s Gospel.
There is no truth in the tale that when Jesus said ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone’ a little old woman from the back of the crowd approached, struggling with a great big rock; prompting him to add, ‘Mother! Behave!’
Back to Peter Gabriel’s Passion
The 2nd choice is ‘The Feeling Begins’. Its opening is based on a traditional melody from Armenia called ‘The Song of the Emigrant’ a lament played on a double reed instrument (like an oboe) called a Doudouk.
‘A Different Drum’ and Zaar use strident middle-eastern drum rhythms which can be traced back hundreds of years.
A DIFFERENT DRUM
‘With this Love’ is quite simply, beautiful.
This is one of my favourite albums of all time. Enjoy.
Thanks to Sally Cronin who nominated me:
And Sue Vincent who nominated her: