Skip to main content

When I was 14 or 15 years old, I had a go-cart. It wasn’t like the go-carts you see nowadays. This was a go-cart that my brother and I had built. We had found a racing frame that sat about an inch off the ground, some racing slicks, and had affixed a Briggs & Stratton 2.5HP 4-stroke engine that made that puppy fly! It was an absolute blast to take around the block of our neighborhood in Euless, Texas growing up. Everybody else who had a go-cart had the standard one that sat several inches above the ground and had knobby tires. Those are great for riding through different types of roads but not so great for racing around the block.

I would take it out a few times a week when I could. One summer day, I finished mowing the lawn and doing chores around the house, and I had about 15 minutes before baseball practice that afternoon. So, I filled it up with gas, pulled the starter cord, and sat down for a couple of trips around the block. I checked both ways on the street, exited the driveway, and, for some reason, turned left, not right, and started my trek around the block in a counterclockwise direction, which meant that I would head downhill, make a right and continue downhill, accelerating the entire way. After coming down the hill, I made the right turn and hit the gas. I was flying down the road, getting up to around 50-60 mph. It was probably more like 20-25 mph, but it felt like 60! As I corrected back left after my right turn, all of a sudden, my steering wheel came off. I’m holding the steering wheel of my racing go-cart, and before I can hit the brakes or even think, my go-cart hits the curb and hurls me about thirty feet into a hedge of holly bushes. I’m not talking about just a few feet and tumbling out. I’m talking about being HURLED out of the cart. So violent was the bump and the hurl that, as I exited the cart, my left thigh was gashed as it went past the now single rod of the steering column. I still have the scar today.

Now, why am I telling you this story on Maundy Thursday, and what does it have to do with Easter? That’s a great question.

My steering wheel came off while driving because the linchpin designed to hold the axle in place had previously broken. Before going out that day, I had rigged up something else that I thought would work.  Instead of finding the right solution, I made my own solution. My solution could not bear the stress. So, I want to ask you this: “What is holding your life together?

That steering wheel worked fine as long as the road was straight and the speed was slow. But when you begin to make adjustments, to make turns, force is exerted, and stress is applied. It’s in those moments when the steering wheel’s function is critical, and you need that linchpin to hold it together. Unfortunately for me on that summer day, that homemade linchpin sheared off under the stress.

What will hold your life together when stress is applied? What will hold your life together when pain and suffering inevitably appear? What will hold your life together when everything else is falling apart?

Any answer other than Jesus Christ is a linchpin that will not bear the weight of life.

That is really what Sunday represents: the linchpin of our faith. Without it, we are left with a dead Jesus who was a really good teacher or a powerful martyr, but He is not our Savior. Thankfully, we have the empty tomb on Sunday, and because of that, our lives can be held together regardless of what comes our way. As Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, without the resurrection, our faith is futile.

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Cor. 1:12-17)

I pray you and your family enjoy your Easter weekend and find hope and joy in the path made possible by the incredible act of love of our Savior.

Happy Easter,

Matthew H. Skinner