It is Accomplished 6 of 5 Songs with Meaning 11

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.




‘With this Love’ is quite simply, beautiful.

This is one of my favourite albums of all time. Enjoy.

Drawing study for Self Image II – Julian Grater (1987)

Thanks to Sally Cronin who nominated me:


And Sue Vincent who nominated her:


11 thoughts on “It is Accomplished 6 of 5 Songs with Meaning

  1. Reply Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, MCC, SCAC Dec 10,2017 3:14 am

    I missed these musical selections when originally posted, Paul, so have been catching up – led from your wonderful STUFF post.

    The gunshot at the end of the amazing zebra choreography actually caused me to gasp – and I watched the remainder of the piece in a shocked trance.

    I believe that these “Easter eggs” are my favorite of the music alone, however. Your knowledge of so many things is impressive beyond belief already – and know I learn that you are a Bible scholar as well.

    What a fascinating man you are, my friend. I wish we lived closer.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    • Reply Paul Dec 13,2017 11:42 pm

      Thanks Madelyn I am flattered that you think I am any sort of scholar at all. to be honest I am simply curious and dogged… the annunciation took me 2 weeks to write! But you know It’s worth it if people I respect say nice things about my work! Penguin Cafe performed some beautiful music and the ballet has such a strong message. I think that’s what drew me to it. You make me think about so much I am glad I return the favour Love PX

  2. Reply Shehanne Moore Apr 17,2017 11:44 pm

    Paul, I think you make great points. And you are so damned knowledgeable, you’re amazing

    • Reply Paul Apr 19,2017 7:42 pm

      Thanks Shey…. what were the funny bits??? I thought it was all serious!

      I cannot independently vouch for the Madonna line but she does reckon she has been excommunicated 3 times….A little excessive I think Even for the Catholic Church!

    • Reply Paul Apr 19,2017 7:46 pm

      I mught by amazing but TYou’re the best, you’re the best I confess it I’m impressed! PX

      I loveed your personal reminiscences in your selection I wish I would write like that.

  3. Reply Shehanne Moore Apr 17,2017 2:18 pm

    Paul, love the bonus bit!! Well done you. And I love all your touches of humour too. What a great choice too for Easter xxxxxxxxxxxxx (Sorry I am having a wee giggle here ! )

  4. Reply Marsha Ingrao Apr 16,2017 5:13 pm

    Wow, this is a beautiful selection, Paul. Thank you so much for visiting my site. I need to bookmark this to come back and listen to the all the music. It’s gorgeous! The book review and your comments on it make readers think. I am a traditional Christian, so I see nothing Biblically that would indicate that he did get married. However, that does not preclude him from loving Mary more than the others. If he did get married, did he die again? What happened to his children. Can men who have been dead three days have children? That would seem pretty important to record if he did marry. Also, the church passed from importance from him to the apostles. Would this have happened if he remained on the scene as a man who died, was buried three days and rose again from the dead? I think that would be pretty interesting. I always wondered what happened to Lazarus after he was raised by Jesus. So, you see, you made me think. Wonderful post. 🙂 Love the music! It makes me want to write more just to keep listening, but hubby is ready to go. 🙂

    • Reply Paul Apr 17,2017 12:28 am

      Hello Marsha, Thank you for visiting. I think everything comes down to belief.

      You are absolutely right there is nothing in the bible that would indicate he was married. Some interpret the wedding at Canna as his wedding arguing Jesus was summoned & responsible for providing more wine (indicating he was the host and bridegroom). When he goes to see Lazarus, Martha confronts him while Mary waits until summoned – as a wife traditionally would. I am no expert I am just repeating opinions.

      It is my opinion that the lack of early source documentation – from an historical point and not from the point of belief- leaves any interpretation possible.

      Again there are many possible interpretations of Lazarus and the crucifixion. I do not want to get into arguments over faith but I will mention what I have read. The Jewish historian Josephus records that on finding 3 friends were crucified he asked the Roman General Titus to release them and one survived. Of all the tens of thousands of people the Romans crucified only one body has ever been found. It is now generally assumed that there different crucifixion practices but the one common aim was to leave people alive and suffering as long as possible to make an example of them and cow the local population.

      Barbara Thiering, whose very interesting theories have been dismissed by many church historians, believes Lazarus was not actually dead but excommunicated from an strict religious community – we know as the Essenes. There appears to be some support for this is a report of a lost gospel fragment called the Secret Gospel of Mark. Jesus similarly survived the crucifixion due to only being on the cross for hours rather than days and continued his mission. She argues he was married under the strict religious rules of the Essenes and did have children. She believes his heir who she calls Jesus III ruled after the destruction of Jerusalem from Ephesus.

      A lot of Theiring makes sense to me, but her interpretation and clear lack of supporting evidence lets her down – so it becomes supposition and inference. I would actually love to meet her and question some of her assumptions. She draws on one of the two earliest surviving bibles called Vaticanus (dated to around 350AD). There is another early bible called Sinaiticus from the same period which was only found in the 1850s. Unfortunately there are something like 3500 textual variations in the New Testament alone between both copies. And we are not entirely sure we have got accurate dates for them.

      From a purely historical point of view it means that we are on shaky ground drawing inferences. It is rather like deciding if King Arthur was an historical figure based on the 7th or 8th century compilation of early writings known as the History of the Britons. You can believe this or that sounds true or accurate, but you will never really know.

      I believe that is where faith comes in. At the end of the day faith is often all a person has and it is a highly personal thing.

      I am so glad you liked the Gabriel music and he has quite an appropriate name to be producing something so heavenly

  5. Reply Sally Cronin Apr 16,2017 8:22 am

    How fabulous.. always love the extra bonus chapter at the end of the book that brings everything together. I will sit with my cup of coffee and listen to all the tracks later this morning. As to the story of Jesus my mother would tell all and sundry that ‘Jesus was a very good man who gave his life to make a point’. Unfortunately his story has been modified by successive generations of religious historians to fit their version of events. And you should never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Wonderful as ever Paul…

    • Reply Paul Apr 16,2017 11:49 pm

      Dear Sally Glad you liked the surprise. I hope you liked the music as much as I do. Luv PX

    • Reply Paul Apr 17,2017 12:40 am

      Sally me too. I always love an afterward in a book when they tell you what is accurate and what assumptions they made and what evidence they used. I agree over the fact we might never know the true story of Jesus because men have interpreted him to their own ends. I do have a religious belief in that fact I do believe in some superior being – probably because I was taught as a kid atheists have no luck! As someone who reads a lot of history I really struggle with the many religious leaders over the past 2 millennia who claimed and are still claiming to have some unique hotline to god and god wants what they want which is generally the murder and persecution of other human beings. If there is a God, he/she/it does not want this for creation. Men want this for their own power.

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