Sunday, March 21, 2010

Passover Coming

Passover is coming up in about a week; March 30.

Exodus 12:1-7 "And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever."

This "Passover" as it is called, is indeed kept by the Jewish people to this day. For the most part, Passover is kept as a memorial of the time when they were rescued from being slaves in Egypt.

In Jesus day, the Passover was celebrated by the nation of Israel. We find this in Luke twenty two.

Luke 22:7-20 "Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."

That first Lord’s Supper, or Communion, as we often call it now, was actually part of the Passover meal that Jesus and his disciples participated in.

The very first Passover which God instituted through Moses focused on a lamb. That lamb had to be perfect, without blemish, because it was to be a symbol of Jesus Christ the sinless lamb of God. The blood that the Israelites were to sprinkle on their door posts was a symbol of the blood that Jesus would shed on the cross. Just as God would pass over those houses that had the blood on the door posts exempting them from the judgment that came upon Egypt, so also when God sees that Jesus blood has been applied to us spiritually, we will be passed over for the judgment that we deserve.

Romans 6:14-18 "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."

It is interesting that Jewish people today consider Passover as primarily a memorial of when they escaped slavery in Egypt. As Christians, every time that we commemorate Christ’s death as the Passover sacrifice, whether it is at Easter, or whether it is by participating in communion, it should remind us that we have also been set free from slavery. Christ’s blood has set us free from the bondage of sin. As Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans, sin no longer has power over us.

Just as the children of Israel were delivered from being slaves to Egypt, and into being God's servants, Christians have been delivered from being slaves to sin and into being servants of the most high God. Both were accomplished by being passed over from judgement; both because of the blood of a lamb. On judgement day, will God pass over you because he sees that the blood of the lamb has been applied?

Friday, March 12, 2010

68" Racer Revisited

A few days ago I received a comment from Mark, of Early Iron Motorcycles in De Soto WI, on a previous post called Paper Engines. In that post I had proposed an engine combination using 61" Knuckle flywheels, UL rods, and overbored 74" cylinders. I called that engine a 68 inch racer. The term 68" Racer was one that I had heard from another old timer (i.e. my age) He remembered that he had a Knuckle "guru" from back in the day who talked of building them, but he did not remember the engine details. Without really thinking about it, I applied the name to my version.

Mark was good enough to give me a little insight into what the term 68" Racer originally meant. Mark tells me that his first 68 incher was influenced by a guy who went by the name of Chicago Smitty. Mark built it with lightened 74 wheels using stock 61" pistons with shortened skirts and using stroker plates made to get as much squeeze in the chamber as he deemed safe. He made up a set of custom guides to use cut down R valves (a slightly longer version of the 1.94 Iron XL intake), cleaned up the ports and used an SU carb with an Andrews K grind cam and a Panhead dual point breaker. According to Mark, it ran so strong he had no trouble outrunning Shovelheads.

Later Mark built another Knuckle, similar to the first, but with custom Ross pistons for 10:1 compression, dual plugs in the Knuck heads and a custom breaker with Dyna S single fire ignition. This one ran so good it was faster than a high buck modified Evo. (I know what you are thinking - just spending a lot to hop up a bike doesn't make it fast - but the guy who modified the Evo in question is the same guy that ported the Shovel heads for my friend Bobby's motor which set multiple national records)

Right about now, I would bet we have a few Knucklehead fanatics out there who are getting mighty excited about building something similar. Thanks, Mark, for sharing that info with us.

I think we can be pretty sure that Mark's version of the 68" Racer is the "period correct version." It also has the rather large advantage of using the nice thick, pretty much indestructible 61" Knuckle cylinders. The only drawback that I can see, is the small bore size would tend to limit the intake valve size quite a bit. I'll have to take a closer look at that as I continue with my big valve conversion project.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

In Afflictions

2 Corinthians 6:4-5 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;

This past Sunday morning as our Pastor led us through 2 Corinthians, he paused, as he has done in the past, at one of the descriptions of what the apostle Paul had undergone. I do not recall his words, but they had to do with how far removed the "Health and Wealth" gospel, so popular today, is from what the Bible teaches.

The fact is, the way that we, as Christians, handle adversity should bring glory to God. So many of those first century Christians died a martyr's death, and brought glory to God thereby. Sitting comfortably here in America, it is hard for us to fathom that even today Christians in many parts of the world are suffering similar deaths and bringing glory to the name of Jesus Christ by steadfastly refusing to deny their faith.

While none of us has any promise that such persecution will never reach our shores, for the most part, we are insulated from such things. It struck me that perhaps for many of us, the greatest trial that we will ever face is to die a lingering death due to disease. Let us pray the Lord would give us the strength to also bring glory to his name by the manner in which we face it.