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The Lever and the Fulcrum

Archimedes, the most famous of the Ancient Greek mathematicians, famously said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” 

A lever is one of the 6 types of simple machines—those machines with few or no moving parts. The lever allows you to apply effort on one end to move a load on the other end. These simple machines allow you to loosen lug bolts on your car wheel; cut things with scissors; or even crush a ball over left field with a baseball bat. It allows for efficient work (or fun). Archimedes’ dramatic quote expresses this principle—given the right parameters, levers can move anything—even the world.

I present to you the Cross and the Empty Tomb. The cross is that lever. Jesus’ death has moved the world. And the stone that was rolled away is the very thing upon which our hope hinges. The stone is the fulcrum. Jesus Christ is Risen! Everything is different because of this truth. 

The whole point of a lever and fulcrum is to apply lesser force to move a greater load. Think of that teeter-totter at the playground. They work great if the two kids are the same size and the hinge point is in the middle. But, if your daughter wants to go up and down with you then you need to adjust the hinge point closer to the parent. Where things hinge determines the amount of force required.

Since the fall, nothing has been able to move the unbearable weight of sin, death, and the devil. No religious ceremonies, no amount of rule-following or law-keeping, no depth of kindness or resistance to the temptations of the world provide enough power to move our broken and sinful ways. Sins endless pursuit of humanity was relentless and undefeated. 

The cross is the only lever long enough to lift the weight of sin that overshadows you and this world. No amount of self-help will do it. The right amount of money in your account; the perfect job, spouse, or community; no government can do it; and neither can any church or other organization. The only lever that can move sin is the cross of Jesus Christ. And it only works in tandem with the best fulcrum the world has ever known—the stone that was rolled away. It was rolled right into the proper place. It is here, on Good Friday and early on the first day of the week that the earth has been moved. Forever. 

In this, God has lifted you up. He has applied His life-giving, soul-saving work, through the cross and the tomb, to raise you up. The world, as Archimedes predicted, has been moved. Thanks Be To God. A blessed Easter season to you!

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