In the 1973 film Jesus Christ Superstar, there is a scene after Jesus has been arrested where Mary Magdalene and the Apostles come to realize that what is actually happening. Heretofore it has all been fun, easy, and free of any real difficulty. They’ve been camping in the desert living the hippie lifestyle, they have no reason to worry because Jesus is there and he’ll take care of them.
Then, everything changes. Jesus isn’t nearby anymore, and things are scary. They are afraid, they don’t know what’s going to happen now, they don’t have any assurance that anything good will come out of this, they may even be at risk themselves. They plead with Jesus to come back, to start over, to take away the hard part and go back to the fun, easy stuff. They want a do-over.
I think this is a great example of our inner lives at times. Sometimes God seems distant and the spiritual stuff isn’t fun or easy anymore. It’s difficult to keep going, and the future seems frightening. We just want things to go back to when they were nice.
But we aren’t even there yet. When things are hard we don’t even stop to think that the glory of Easter lies just ahead, just out of sight. We ask to start again, but we aren’t finished yet, this isn’t over and the happiness we felt earlier will pale compared to the joy that awaits.