Why Does Jesus Christ Superstar End Before the Resurrection?

Why Does Jesus Christ Superstar End Before the Resurrection?

Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera musical that tells the story of the last week of Jesus’ life. The musical, which was first produced in 1970, has been a popular choice for stage productions and has been adapted into several films and television shows. One question that many people ask after watching the musical is why it ends before the resurrection.

The Plot of Jesus Christ Superstar

The plot of Jesus Christ Superstar follows Jesus as he arrives in Jerusalem with his disciples. He is greeted as a hero by the people, but he also faces opposition from religious leaders who see him as a threat to their authority.

Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ disciples, becomes disillusioned with Jesus and betrays him to the authorities. The musical ends with Jesus being crucified.

The Importance of the Resurrection

The resurrection is an essential part of Christian belief and serves as proof that Jesus was indeed divine. According to Christian doctrine, after being crucified, buried in a tomb, and guarded by soldiers, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. His resurrection signaled his victory over death and sin.

Why Doesn’t Jesus Christ Superstar Include the Resurrection?

There are several reasons why Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice decided not to include the resurrection in their musical.

1. Focus on Human Struggle

One reason why they chose not to include it is that they wanted to focus on human struggle rather than divine intervention.

By ending at the crucifixion, they were able to emphasize how human actions can lead to tragedy and suffering. The focus was on Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial rather than the resurrection.

2. Theatrical Constraints

Another reason why they didn’t include the resurrection is that it would have been challenging to stage. The resurrection is a supernatural event that would have required elaborate special effects and staging, which may not have been possible or practical in a stage production.

3. Historical Accuracy

The musical’s creators also wanted to stay true to the historical record of Jesus’ life.

The Bible does not provide many details about what happened after the crucifixion, and there are different interpretations of what occurred. By ending at the crucifixion, they were able to stay true to what was known about Jesus’ life and avoid speculation about what happened after his death.

The Impact of Jesus Christ Superstar

Despite not including the resurrection, Jesus Christ Superstar has had a significant impact on popular culture and has helped introduce many people to the story of Jesus’ life. The musical’s use of rock music and contemporary language made it accessible to younger audiences, and its themes of betrayal, redemption, and sacrifice resonated with viewers from all backgrounds.


In conclusion, while the exclusion of the resurrection may be disappointing for some viewers, it was a deliberate choice by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to focus on human struggle rather than divine intervention. Despite this omission, Jesus Christ Superstar remains one of the most important musicals ever produced and continues to inspire audiences around the world.