Donald Trump's arrest and a "Silent Wednesday" meditation

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The latest on Donald Trump’s arrest: A “Silent Wednesday” meditation

April 5, 2023 -

Former President Donald Trump appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in New York. Trump surrendered to authorities ahead of his arraignment on criminal charges stemming from a hush money payment to a porn actor during his 2016 campaign. (Timothy A. Clary/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in New York. Trump surrendered to authorities ahead of his arraignment on criminal charges stemming from a hush money payment to a porn actor during his 2016 campaign. (Timothy A. Clary/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in New York. Trump surrendered to authorities ahead of his arraignment on criminal charges stemming from a hush money payment to a porn actor during his 2016 campaign. (Timothy A. Clary/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump pled not guilty to thirty-four felony counts yesterday in a Manhattan courtroom. The New York Times described the scene: helicopters circled overhead; the streets outside were crammed with demonstrators and the press corps; supporters and critics of Mr. Trump assembled at a nearby park, where they screamed at each other from across metal barricades.

After returning to his home in Florida, the former president addressed the charges against him last night, declaring that they were erroneous, politically motivated, and “an insult to our country.”

A question no one is asking about Donald Trump’s arrest

The arrest of Donald Trump raises numerous questions:

  • When will the trial begin? According to legal experts, it could take years for the case to work its way through the court system, which may push it until after the 2024 presidential election.
  • Could Mr. Trump still run for president? Even if he were to be tried and convicted before that time, he would not be disqualified from running for the White House or for being elected This is because, as an election law professor explains, “There is no constitutional bar on a felon running for office.”
  • A dear friend with extensive legal experience asked in an email yesterday: Will an investigation be undertaken into the person who leaked the charges under the sealed indictment? Defense counsel only learned of the number of charges by reading about them in the press, which is not due process.
  • He also asked: Who will be the jury of Mr. Trump’s “peers”? If the prosecutor won election on the issue of “getting Trump,” the jury pool would presumably be biased on a similar ratio to that of the election results. What constitutes a “peer” for Mr. Trump in a city dominated by his political opponents?

Here’s a question no one seems to be raising in Mr. Trump’s defense: Shouldn’t society have tolerance for his right to act in whatever way he deems best for himself? Shouldn’t we support his right to his “truth,” whatever it is?

In our “post-truth” culture, a majority of Americans embrace such relativism for themselves. Yet they are reluctant to extend it to those with whom they disagree. Why is this?

“Words are routinely used as political weapons”

In How to Save the West: Ancient Wisdom for 5 Modern Crises, Spencer Klavan warns of the “reality crisis” we face: “Today, words are routinely used as political weapons rather than as good-faith attempts to describe reality. Physical and moral truth can be inconvenient for certain factions trying to shape political and media narratives.”

According to Klavan, this is “a moment at which it seems unappealing, inconvenient, or even naïve to believe that some things are more real than others.” He concludes: “The reality crisis presents us with an age-old question: Is truth independent of authority, including the authority of ‘experts’ and of majority opinion?”

This question is truly “age-old”: Satan led our first parents to question the authority of God’s word and then to believe that they would “be like God, knowing good and evil” for themselves (Genesis 3:5). The result was the Fall with all its cataclysmic consequences.

From then until today, whenever we choose “our truth” over God’s word, we repeat the Fall for ourselves. The good news is that our Father anticipated this tragedy and devised a solution before time began.

What Jesus didn’t do today

Today in Holy Week is often called “Silent Wednesday.” This is because Jesus did nothing on this day that was recorded in Scripture. He presumably spent the day with his friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in their home in Bethany on the outskirts of Jerusalem (cf. Matthew 21:17).

Here is what our Savior did not do today: he did not flee the city and the horrors that awaited him there. If he left this morning, he could have walked eastward across the Jordan River into Perea and been out of the Jerusalem authorities’ jurisdiction by nightfall.

But Jesus knew that he was the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8 NKJV). He knew that his upcoming death at the hands of the Romans was his Father’s plan before time began.

For example, the Spirit inspired David to describe Jesus’ crucifixion in stark terms a thousand years earlier: “They have pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots” (Psalm 22:16–18). This was centuries before crucifixion had even been invented by the Persians.

The Father’s purpose behind his Son’s death was simple: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Billy Graham explained, “At the cross God’s love and justice came together. Jesus took the punishment we deserved, and now we are clothed in his perfect righteousness.”

Why the Father said no to his Son

This is how much our Father loves us: before he made our first ancestors, he knew that his Son would have to die for their sins and ours. If you are the parent of two sons as I am, consider this question: If you knew that your second son would cost your first son his life, would you have had him?

In the Garden of Gethsemane, three times the Son pled with his Father to “let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39–44). And three times, the Father said no to his Son so he could say yes to you.

This is not “my truth” but God’s truth.

Is it your truth today?

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