Bill Anderson



“Hokey” Good Friday

Chuck Todd, the NBC reporter, stated, during Easter week and on national American television, that Good Friday was actually a “Hokey” deal and saw nothing especially significant about it.

One supposes that before commenting about Jews one would need to know a bit about Torah, or if on Islam, something of the significance of Ramadan, and if on Christianity, perhaps a whiff of information about the significance of a day which memorializes, arguably, the most important event since the creation of the cosmos. If Todd doesn’t know the importance of the day, he’s hopelessly ignorant, and if he does know, insufferably bigoted. Which is probably the case.

Reporters are famous for occasionally assuming that well-known pontifical pose (they must practice it in journalism classes) and, with eyes flashing and nostrils flared, telling the great unwashed that their chief business is to “speak truth to power.” But are famous, literally, for never doing so, unless the power is held (or presumed to be held) by conservatives. Neither you nor I have ever heard a modern liberal reporter (the massive majority of American reporters) speak power to the abortion-crime syndicate. And don’t hold your breath until one labels Ramadan “hokey!”

Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychotherapist who has taken the western world by storm with his recently-published “12 Rules for Life” (which has become, in a matter of weeks, the most-published non-fiction book in all Canadian history) writes: “The Bible is, for better or worse, the foundational document of Western civilization (of Western values, Western morality, and Western conceptions of good and evil.)” (p. 104)

All Christians have known that for a long time now, and the “Bible event” makes it clear—as does common reason—that Christ’s final week on earth, the Passion Week, centering on Christ’s death on “Good Friday” and resurrection on Easter Sunday, is the linchpin of the entire story. See St Paul’s “If Christ be not risen…” passage in I Corinthians 15:12-19. The whole of biblical revelation hangs on that oft-stated fact.

Of course, we should not hate Todd. Or seek revenge on him. Or castigate him. Or maybe even reply to him. It is important, however—in view of the significance of Good Friday—that we feel hopeful for him. I recently saw a television special featuring the basketball phenom Pete Maravich; some say the best that ever played the game. One day he, along with another pro-basketballer, walked into the office at the church I was then pastoring. Several of us heard his story first hand: throughout his adult life, he was terribly gifted but terribly sad. He came to the point, late in his career, where he was deeply troubled—wrung out spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. He thought, at times, of ending it all by suicide. He was not a Christ-follower, but he knew about it first-hand, from his wife and others. He told of the shocking event one morning when he woke up, immediately rolled out of bed, fell on his knees and heard himself begging God to save him. He said nothing that day about basketball (which was to culminate in his being elected to the NBA Hall of Fame and being chosen as one of the fifty best players in basketball history), but much about his new-found faith in Christ. He was stunned and stable, saved and sane. “Sitting, clothed and in his right mind…” like the man in the Bible. And he remained that way, vibrant with joy, until the end of his all-too-short life of forty years.

Something like that could happen to Chuck Todd. And he could spend the remainder of his short time here and his long eternity, like many of us, ashamed for missing for so long the true significance of human history and our own history, but now singing with Pete and all his spiritual clan on Easter Sunday morning—and on every other morning:

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph over His foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign,
He arose! He Arose!
Hallelujah, Christ arose!

He says hokey. I say Hallelujah.

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