Friday, April 16, 2021

Just One More in a Long Line of Tech Tips


Here is a tech tip that I recently ran across which is so cool I just had to share it.

I’ve been changing tires for about 50 years now, first as a teenager for the “beater” cars that I drove and later on motorcycles.  Early on, I would use a bumper jack to break the bead and large screwdrivers to remove the tires from the rims. Later on, working in motorcycle shops, professional equipment such as bead breakers and tire irons made the work easier and more productive.  I’ve even had the opportunity to use a few different tire machines over the years, though I tend to be just as happy using hand tools.

One thing that remained constant through the years though, is the problem that would often come up when a tubeless tire seemed to be just too narrow for the rim, making it difficult to get the combination to start taking air.  One trick that would sometimes work would be to wrap a tie-down strap around the circumference of the tire and tighten it to spread tire’s bead apart.  On a combination with a particularly stiff and/or short sidewall tire and an unusually wide gap between tire and rim, that would be marginally effective.  Inevitably, at that point someone would raise the age-old suggestion of using starter fluid and a match to create a “small” explosion that would “blow” the beads of the tire into position. Well, despite the suggestion coming up often, and the general agreement that everyone “heard it works”, I never worked with anyone who had actually tried it. As someone who prefers to keep his rapid expansion of flammable mixtures inside of a combustion chamber, I never did attempt it myself, neither have I witnessed it in person.

That said, I had occasion to consider the options once again recently.  I had just finished mounting a pair of new tires for our “vintage” motorhome and the very stiff sidewalls were hopelessly far from contacting the rim.  Ratcheting a strap tightly around it did not move the tire beads an iota closer to the rim.  Finally I decided to do an internet search with the hope that someone, somewhere had come up with a good solution.  The one I found (and used successfully!) is ingenious, cheap, and safe.  And perhaps best of all, there is a video which saves any more explanation on my part.  Prepare to give Brian Jordan a round of applause.


Saturday, April 3, 2021

The Cross of Christ – Alter of Sacrifice


Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.   God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Psalm 118:26-27

This Psalm is one of which we can have no doubt speaks prophetically of Jesus.  That was confirmed by Jesus himself (Matthew 21:42) and later by the apostle Peter (Acts 4:11).  The portion I would like to bring your attention to is the end of verse 27.  Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.  The alter spoken of here is obviously meant to bring our thoughts to the alter for which Moses supplied the blueprints: “And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.  And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass.” (Exodus 27:1-2) This alter would be a fixture in the Tabernacle that traveled with the Children of Israel and later in the Temple in Jerusalem.

As you probably know, the whole sacrificial system (and the objects used therein) of ancient Israel was designed by God to provide a “foreshadowing” or picture of the coming Messiah and the salvation from sins which he would provide.  When Israel would offer a sacrifice as an atonement for sin, it would be upon this alter.  The alter upon which the true sacrifice, which those Old Testament sacrifices pictured, was also one made of wood.  This alter was the cross on which the Son of God was crucified. 

Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.  Here is where there are differing opinions as to the exact meaning, though the differing opinions all agree with the fulfillment in Jesus Christ.  One understanding of binding the sacrifice with cords involves ropes or cords which may have been used to fasten the sacrificial lamb to the horns of the alter before it was slain.  If this is correct, that picture would have been fulfilled with ropes (as well as nails) fastening Jesus to the cross.  Another understanding of the statement in the Psalm states that the animals sacrificed in the Old Testament were not fastened to the alter at all, but rather that the “cords” were only used in leading the lamb to the alter and that fastening it to the alter would present an inaccurate picture of the sacrificial lamb attempting to flee, contrary to Jesus willing submission to death on the cross. This view would go on to point out that several texts substantiate that Jesus was “bound” and taken to the Roman Governor Pilate.

Consulting several different translations of the passage, it seems that either viewpoint could legitimately be taken from the passage.  One other interesting point, found in Charles Spurgeon’s commentary on this verse is that “the word rendered cords carries with it the idea of wreaths and boughs, so that it was not a cord of hard, rough rope, but a decorated band.”  This immediately brings to mind the twisted together crown of thorns which Jesus was adorned with by the Roman soldiers shortly before the crucifixion. That too, may be the explanation.

Whichever of these views of the passage you agree with, there can be little doubt that Jesus the Messiah fulfilled everything the Old Testament sacrificial system foreshadowed. Jesus Christ, King of kings, died for our sins and rose again in victory over death so that we might be accounted as righteous before God!