I grew up in the American denominational world and was taught from a small child that Christ was crucified on “Good Friday”. A few years ago I heard about this nutty theory that Christ was not crucified on Friday but on Wednesday. The first time I listened to this theory, I was skeptical and I remained skeptical until I diagrammed it out on paper.

One thing we have to remember is the Jewish day begins at nightfall (generally 6pm), instead of midnight, which is the western way of thinking. I also am going with the theory that the scriptures are talking about full 24 hour days, for in all other area of the bible we find extreme precision of the facts.

We know that Christ died about the ninth hour, or about three PM. They then had to lower the cross to the ground, remove the spikes holding him to the wood, remove him from the cross and carry the body to a place where they prepared him for burial. Even assuming they were fast and judicial in these tasks, it is not likely that he was placed in the tomb and the tomb was sealed before six PM.

Even if you initially reject this idea as a bunch hokum, just bear with me and continue reading with an open mind.

OK, here is my math. Below I have laid out a timeline, assuming a Wednesday crucifixion with nights starting at 6PM with Christ being crucified on Wednesday and placed in the tomb in the beginning hours of the new day, Thursday (Wednesday night, to us in the west).

According to the scriptures Christ died about 3PM and then His body was removed and prepared for burial and placement in the tomb and the procedure to wash, anoint and wrap the body was not a speedy process and most likely took at least two to three hours.


1 1st Thursday (which generally begins about 6PM) the Feast of Unleavened Bread
2 2nd Friday
3 3rd Saturday (Sabbath)


1 1st Thursday (which began about 6AM) Feast of Unleavened Bread
2 2nd Friday
3 3rd Saturday (Sabbath)

That would mean he rose from the tomb before sundown on the Sabbath (and remember sundown on the Sabbath is actually the beginning of the next day, Sunday), or sometime after sundown (assuming the count is full days and nights)….and that works. This was the first time I had put it down on paper to look at.

The issue I was having (as I suspect many have) is mentally we start counting with the day and discount the fact that Christ would have been placed in the tomb and starting the clock on the first night. Using that simple fact means that I have proven to myself that Wednesday was the logical day that he was taken out and slain. A Thursday crucifixion would mean Sunday would be day three and inferring full days, that doesn’t work either because the scripture tells us Mary saw him early on Sunday.

Friday doesn’t work at all because that would mean He was in the tomb only for one full night and one full day (according to the Jewish calendar).

God Bless, Jim

Renewed 2-25-22

Most, if not all of the folks that have ever picked up a bible is somewhat familiar with King Ahab, Jezebel and Elijah, but how many people are familiar with Elijah’s propensity for showmanship in his service for The Lord?

In both 1st and 2nd Kings, we read of Ahab, the seventh King of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Israel had some very crummy kings, but Ahab wins a nomination for one of the worst of the lot. One of his first horrible decisions he made was to align himself with Sidon, by marrying Jezebel, the daughter of the king of Sidon. When Jezebel moved to Israel, she just happened to bring the worship of her gods Baal and his consort Asherah with her, along with 450 priests of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. Baal was a chief god amongst her people and Asherah was some sort of “mother god of fertility”.

It is pretty clear to me reading the account of King Ahab and Jezebel that Ahab’s wife Jezebel dominated him and ruled the roost while Ahab seemed to do nothing but pout when he didn’t get his way. Not only did Jezebel introduce these strange gods to the land, but she made sure the worship of Baal was enforced throughout the land of Israel and set up altars and groves of worship in the high places around the landscape and ordered the prophets of God be killed1. One of the attributes of Baal was control of the weather and the people were supposed to offer sacrifices to him to create favorable conditions for their crops and animals. Before you know it, we find Ahab building a temple to Baal in Samaria, the capitol of the northern kingdom of Israel, and it was after this abhorrence that The Lord decided enough was enough and sent His prophet Elijah to have a chat with King Ahab about actions and his gods.

To prove which god actually elicited control of the weather, Elijah informed Ahab that the One True God was shutting up the heavens (which means no rain) for three years, causing a huge drought throughout the land. For three years the prophets of Baal went through all their rituals and gyrations to try and make it rain and for three years the only thing they achieved was to look like a bunch of clowns before the starving populace whom also had turned their backs on The Lord.

Finally at the end of three long, painful years, God sent Elijah back to Israel to see King Ahab and to issue a challenge to the 450 priests of Baal, as well as 400 prophets of Asherah to come to Mount Carmel to see who’s god could actually control the weather by making it rain and to save face, Ahab had his priests and prophets agree to the challenge.

Almost like an old west showdown, the day of the challenge came and on Mount Carmel Elijah challenged the priests, in front of a horde of spectators, to see whose god could build a fire under their respective altars. For most of the day, the priests and prophets of Baal prayed, hooted, hollered and slashed themselves while Elijah mocked their efforts as he lounged around sipping tea, doing crosswords and playing solitaire.

Finally, by late afternoon, it was Elijah’s turn and after he rebuilt the broken down altar of The Lord, and had his servants douse the altar with so much water it filled the surrounding trenches. After all this had been done he prayed to the one true God and The Lord sent down fire that consumed the burnt sacrifice on the altar as well as all of the water around it. Suddenly the people that had allowed themselves to be duped by the false priests and prophets, started praising the Lord and Elijah ordered them to seize all 850 priests and prophets which he then killed by his sword.

Afterward, Elijah told Ahab the Lord decided to end the drought and it began to rain upon the land for the first time in 36 months. Now I don’t know where Jezebel was throughout all this but it apparently came as a shock to her when Ahab informed her that all her priests and prophets had been put to death by Elijah, which didn’t go over very well with her, for she swiftly sent word to Elijah (to paraphrase) that by sundown tomorrow either he would be dead or she would be (again, it sounds like a gunfight challenge). Elijah and his servants escaped to Judah and Jezebel wasn’t able to exact her revenge, though her promise that it would be either him or her would come back to bite her in the end.

Of course, even though it looks as I am giving Elijah the credit, all of the prophesies and miracles that Elijah performed came directly from God and I believe Elijah’s gift of flair and drama came directly from the Lord also. All praise should always go to The Lord, regardless whose hand or mouth is being used to transmit His will. Elijah had a challenging, fruitful and spirit filled life in service for The Lord, but this awesome display of showmanship is most definitely Elijah’s greatest hits.

Jim 7-12-21

(1) The man in charge of Ahab’s house, Obadiah, was a God fearing man and secretly hid 100 prophets of The Lord in caves, thus saving them while apparently neither Ahab nor Elijah were aware they were still alive.

part 8

Once again the sun was bright on the eastern horizon as we awaken to another beautiful morning and I remained pleasantly surprised and thankful that we had not had to ride through rain this trip. As the water for the coffee was heating up, I started my morning inspection of the bike. While we were riding through Kansas the day before I began noticing an oily spot on top of my left boot. BMW motorcycle engines were a twin cylinder design, with the cylinders laid out horizontally instead of vertically. On top of that, the cylinders, instead of being aligned forward and back within the frame of the bikes, stuck out sideways like giant ears. There were a lot of reasons for doing this but one of the primary reasons was so the moving pistons and cylinders would catch the airflow, thus allowing the engines to run much cooler than the conventionally designed motorcycles. This also meant that my feet were situated below the cylinders, so when I discovered oil on my left boot it meant that something around the left cylinder of the engine had started leaking. A cursory look at the bike on the side of the road revealed nothing and as I did my daily morning inspection before packing the equipment back onto to the bike before we left, I still couldn’t find the source of this small leak, so I decided it wasn’t bad enough to be concerned about. Even though the leak continued the rest of the trip, I never discovered the source and it was slight enough to not have any ill effect on the engine. I also noticed during this inspection that the rubber hairs on the right angle of both tires had worn off from the steady wind from the south we experienced riding easterly through Kansas, balancing out the lost rubber hairs that had worn off when we were riding west several days before.

At this point we had been on our trip seven day and the long hours in the saddle on our inexperienced bodies were continuing to take its toll as I felt an increasing physical weariness before I had even climbed onto the bike and started out for the day. As much as we loved the friendliness and beauty of America’s populace that lived along its back roads, as we spoke over coffee we decided to head toward I-40 and make a bee line for home. Bidding our camping area around the lake adieu, we started for home and once again entered the life of high speed travelers when we merged into the interstate traffic at Sallisaw heading east. As we rode I watched truckers droning along in groups and solo, acting out their immensely important part in keeping America eating and living along these arteries of commerce. I saw businessmen, laborers and people escaping from something while other were driving toward new beginnings. I saw parents with kids staring out the windows of vehicles full of luggage as they passed by hopefully anticipating arriving at their vacation spots.

However for me I was surprised by a revelation. Where just a few days earlier, while traveling along these rhythmic concrete lanes with the excitement of exploring new miles, this time I understood that America’s high speed arteries are only tools for getting from point A to point B, whereas the two lane back roads of America are where her secrets and joys lie, waiting to be discovered in every small town that tells a different tale and experience of the passage of life, grief and happiness and history to be shared with those that choose to exit the mindless sameness of the interstates and instead take in this wonderful patchwork of thousands upon thousand of communities at a slower and much more relaxed and leisurely pace.

About 10pm we tiredly pulled into a state park in West Tennessee and ended up spending a miserable hot, humid almost sleepless night in the tent at a camp site full of lumpy roots, drunken noisy neighbors and mosquitoes in this hot, humid location. The next morning I gladly packed up to get away from the misery and to get back on the bike for this very thankful final leg of the journey. By mid afternoon, I directed my faithful bike into the garage at home and dragged my weary bones into the house and collapsed onto the suddenly exquisitely comfortable couch while thinking to myself…”I’m more tired than I have been in a long time, my back aches from my neck to my butt, but that trip was awesome and I can’t wait to hop on the bike and take another one!”.

That decision several months earlier to hop on my bike and head out into the unknown was a turning point for me, for in some ways, the rest of my life was framed around the desire to explore the country by motorcycle. For the next couple of decades I would choose the first two weeks in September as vacation time and Earl and I would take off into the wild blue yonder. As we journeyed, we continued to mature as travelers and to learn from past experience and adapt. The next couple of years we still hopped onto interstate system and used it as the first leg of our journey and we would ride the utility road of boredom until we reached the hopping off destination we would choose…the first year it was Tucumcari, the next it was Abilene, Texas, and the following was Pueblo, CO but then after that, for the most part, we stopped using the interstate arteries and started traveling US east-west two lane routes as far as they would take us, or until we would run out of time and have to turn around and head home along different two lane highway and back roads.

Traveling by motorcycle has taught me to appreciate the vastness of this wonderful country that I am blessed to live in and to appreciate the vastly different cultures and flavor of people that come together to make up America. If it wasn’t for the desire to get out there and experience it all riding in the wind and rain and heat and cold, to discover the new vistas and landscapes not only by sight, but also by smell as we pass fields and meadows of flowers, deserts of sand and scrub, lakes and shores, fresh rains and dusty winds, beaches and salt air, they all combine to create the memories of awe and appreciation of God’s green earth and I am forever thankful I have had, and continue to have the ability to take it in, absorb it and to love it all.



Dodge City

As we started down the highway toward Dodge City, I remembered it had been a couple of days since I paid attention to personal hygiene, and as I thought about it, a brilliant idea popped into my head and I started paying more attention to the fields we were passing. A couple of miles later I spotted my quarry, and as we bumped across the cattle crossing into the field, the large, galvanized stock glistened in the morning light as the cattle grazed nearby. This livestock tank was about thirty inches deep and maybe twenty feet across, perfect for my bathing plans. The cool water felt good on my skin as I quickly scrubbed off the grime of the last two days. As I mounted my trusty old twin cylinder steed, feeling fresh and clean again, it almost seemed the cows were glaring at me with disdain as we got back on the highway heading toward Dodge City.

I felt a small amount of excitement building, passing through this old cowboy country, the miles ticking by on my odometer as we neared Dodge, for I was a wannabe cowboy at heart and carried current copies of “The Old West” magazines in my saddlebags to prove it. Dodge City is an historic cattle town best known for cattle drives, Boot Hill Cemetery, the Long Branch Saloon, Front Street, Bat Masterson and TV Sheriff Matt Dillon. As we rode into town atop our two wheeled steeds, we felt sort of like a couple of modern day cowboys fresh off the trail…which was sort of true. Of course there are only tiny remnants of the old west left in this modern city, but we spent a few hours searching them out as we visited Boot Hill, the Long Branch replica saloon on Front Street and absorbed historical marker around town, soaking up the flavor of the old west. Soon, however we left Dodge and turned our noses east toward home.

We noticed clouds building in the sky as the afternoon passed and as we wound our way through Greensburg we spotted a marker and decided to visit the world’s largest hand dug well, which was large enough to have stairs winding down to the bottom…it was impressive, indeed. A couple of hours later we neared Pratt and decided to pitch our tent at the county lake park, our only choice for rough camping unless we wanted to camp next to RVs, which we didn’t. We had gotten wise and acquired provisions in Dodge City before we left so we wouldn’t be forced to gnaw on wood or dig for grubs or even eat something similar to the fare from the night before, I recall not being able to decide which would be worse. After the sun went down, we doused our fire and turned in for the night and as usual I went quickly to sleep. Sometime after midnight, I was awakened by a pounding rain that drummed upon the rain fly of the tent. Initially I was concerned that the waterproofing of the tent might not be adequate, but as the rain continued to hammer the tent we realized that it was remaining dry inside so we went back to sleep. Waking the next morning, I grabbed the door zipper, opened the door and stepped out into morning sunlight and into inch deep water. As I jumped like I had been shocked, and splashed away from the front of the tent I stared back at the little pond that had formed under and around the tent. I remained in awe of the cheap little dome tent as we ferried our sleeping bags and pads out of the tent across the “pond” because, despite all the water surrounding the tent, the inside still remained dry. What a great little tent.

Back on the road we had about 100 miles of generally flat cropland to travel through to get to Wichita, another familiar sounding western town that was large enough to have plenty of pawn shops to scrounge through. Whenever Earl and I traveled, one of the things we enjoyed doing was visiting pawn shops, digging through the castoffs of other peoples lives. We usually were on the lookout for camera equipment, firearm related items and trinkets for our wives, as tribute in hopes they will allow us back in the doors when we return home. We wandered around Wichita for a couple of hours then we decided to point the bikes in the direction of Oklahoma. As the waning afternoon sun rested over our right shoulders we reached the Cimarron Turnpike, a four lane toll road that transects the northeastern part of Oklahoma from Enid to Tulsa. I dug out my change to make sure it was handy and we took off toward Tulsa. As the sun dropped below the horizon I was following Earl along the turnpike when suddenly some giant grey bird swooped into my peripheral vision and before I had a chance to duck, its right wing passed within a few inches of my face as it continued on across the road to God knows where, apparently oblivious to my presence. All I know is I whooped and almost pooped my pants from the fright of this bird’s appearance that seemed as big as a truck, but was probably a heron or crane. The rest of the journey down the turnpike was uneventful as the night grew darker and darker around my headlight and it was close to 9pm when we pulled in to a state park a few miles west of Tulsa. As I wearily closed my eyes against the fatigue of riding days on end I quickly fell asleep.



part 6

US Route 54 takes off from Tucumcari and runs almost arrow straight northeast along the edges of Texas, Oklahoma and whistles through the town of Plains, Kansas, where we planned on turning north toward our next old west town to visit, Dodge City, the home of Matt Dillon, Miss Kitty and Festus, familiar souls that we grew up watching the drama of their life’s unfold weekly on CBS. As we bade farewell to our initial destination, we mounted our bikes and turned our sights toward Kansas, another new state I knew absolutely nothing about. We hadn’t been on US 54 that long before the scenery around us began changing from desert scrub to grassy expanse. Looking at the atlas informed us we were skirting the southern edge of some National Grasslands, something I didn’t expect to see in New Mexico. We soon discovered that US 54 appeared to be a major artery from I-40 into southwest Kansas, as we began encountering a number of semi trucks heading both directions along this generally shoulderless two lane highway.

So far on this vacation, Earl and I had settled into a certain routine of keeping anywhere from 10 to 50 yards space between us as we rode and we also made sure to follow the National Speed Limit law of 55 mph to avoid speeding tickets away from our home state of Tennessee. As we were droning through Texas enjoying the fields and small rolling hills that were beginning to appear, two semi rigs rapidly came up from behind and started passing, first me and then Earl, which was riding about 50 yards ahead of me. The lead semi had just passed Earl as we approached a small hill and when he cut back into our lane, he seemingly judged the distance incorrectly and ended up forcing Earl off onto the narrow gravel edge as the right rear portion of his trailer swung dangerously toward him. So far on this highway we hadn’t seen more than a narrow gravel shoulder, though it seemed that there were pull offs large enough for at least one semi about every few miles. I watched the drama with Earl and the truck unfold from my vantage point behind the second semi, and gasped to myself as he wallowed down the narrow gravel shoulder until he managed to get back on the highway in front of the second semi.

My sigh of relief was short-lived as Earl accelerated his bike and as he passed next to the driver’s door of the semi that had run him off the road, he stretched his left arm up in the air and shot the driver a bird, then continued on to get in front of the truck as I helplessly watched dumbfounded at this obviously reckless act. It did turn out that wasn’t the right thing to do, for suddenly I saw smoke puff from the exhaust stacks on the semi as the driver sped up to get onto Earl’s tail. I watched in shocked disbelief as Earl accelerate away from the truck just to have the truck match his speed, almost as if they were suddenly Siamese twins, rolling and weaving down the highway. I could see the driver of the second truck through his side mirror as he was speaking into his microphone and gesturing at the same time, occasionally glancing back at me as I stayed a safe distance back. Earl and the truck that was sticking to him like velcro were approaching a pull off and Earl pulled off the highway, only to have the truck match his move and pull off immediately behind him so Earl shot back onto the highway with the semi snaking back onto the tarmac behind him. I was beginning to fear that there was not going to be a good outcome to this when another pull off appeared ahead and once again Earl pulled of, but to my surprise, the truck just continued on, either tiring of his game, or the driver of the second truck had convinced him that he wouldn’t get away with running over Earl. Carefully continuing up the highway we spotted another pull off and we both exited and stopped and with a huge sigh of relief, I pulled my helmet off and sat down on the ground, suddenly exhausted. Earl had allowed his anger to get the best of him, with potentially fatal consequences, and as we drank water and chatted, I reminded him whether or not he was righteous in any situation, any scenario with a fight between his 500 pound bike against a 25,000 pound truck results in him losing every time. I think maybe he got it…
After a few minutes we got back on the highway and continued toward Kansas. Traveling along America’s back roads is a completely different experience from traveling along the nation’s interstate highway system. Where the interstates are designed to skirt smaller towns and communities, thus insulating the travelers from life outside the bubble of high speed travel, its back roads allows its travelers to experience life in the small towns, communities and farmlands of rural America. As we worked our way closer to Kansas, the landscape gradually changed from grassy prairie to rolling fenced fields with the occasional copse of trees appearing dotted around the landscape. We also passed the remains of hardships in this area as tumbling down and abandoned cabins, sheds, barns and windmills lay scattered across the landscape, reminding us of the uncertainty of life and long term success scratching a living out of the soil. After we turned north at Prairie Kansas, the state roads started winding and zig-zagging along the fertile fields of this southwestern part of the state and soon in the distance the tops of structures started appearing. These structures turned out to be grain elevators that announced the presence of a small farming community ahead. It seemed that just about the time the elevators would disappear from view in my rear view mirrors, another set would begin to peak over the horizon announcing another little community built around the grain production of the American plains.

Following the little highway we were traveling on, was a set of railroad tracks on our left, the tops of the rails glistening in the afternoon sunlight, showing regular use…something that I should have paid attention to, but didn’t. I also noticed as we traveled along about every half mile to mile there would be a drive off the highway to give the farmers access to their fields. I also started seeing cattle for the first time since we left Oklahoma along with weather-worn, working windmills that pumped fresh cool water into the large galvanized livestock tanks for the cattle to drink from. We don’t have windmills in Tennessee and to watch these towering, wood latticed machines catching the wind with their plethora of rusting green metal vanes spinning creakily as they pumped the water was a rare threat, as this was the first time in my life I had seen any in action. As the sun started racing toward the western horizon I motioned for us to pull off onto one of these gravel drives to find a spot to camp. We had gone up a slight incline (in Kansas they called these slopey little bumps on the earth “hills”) and this particular farm track led into a field that was partially below the road and out of sight of passing vehicles. As we turned onto this gravel track I glanced to the left and saw a flat, level leaf covered area near the railroad track cut that was surrounded by trees and looked like the idyllic spot to set up the tent. We stopped and unpacked the bikes and as Earl set the tent up I headed toward the nearest town which was about 5 miles away, according the the size of the grain elevators I could see in the distance to rustle up some grub. I arrived at the only store in town just before closing, a store about the size of a postage stamp and as I looked around at the near empty shelves I realized our dining choices were extremely limited. So for supper Earl and I had loaf bread and American cheese…and I was happy to be able to get that. Earl dug out the rest of the bottle of wine we tried the evening before and so following this luxurious meal of bread and cheese was half flat wine…it was great. As the sun began to set the mosquitoes started attacking in force and we retreated to the tent. We had been hitting the sack soon after dark and rising with the sun anyway, so almost as soon as we got inside, I fell sleep.

I was shaken awake to, what I assumed was the end of time. Earl was shaking me and I awakened to the most awful raucous shrieking, banging, roaring and whining, while the darkness was broken with this ominously glowing bright light sweeping back and forth. As the ground beneath us trembled and shook, I quickly realized that it wasn’t the end of the world or a UFO attack, but an approaching train. As the noisy behemoth growled and moaned as it ate the distance between us, I almost panicked as I swiftly wondered if we had camped on the tracks themselves and were about to be squashed like a couple of unnecessary bugs, as the lights seemed to be bearing straight down upon us. As the locomotive passed us about 30 feet away, we sat dumbfounded in our sleeping bags, the ground trembling beneath us as the train passed and passed and passed some more, and kept passing for three or four minutes. Back home in Tennessee, we had railroads but trains in our area might travel through maybe once a week bearing ten or twelve cars, but here we were being passed by several engines pulling more than a hundred cars. Once the train was finally gone, Earl told me the noise awakened him and he looked over at me sleeping peacefully and decided that if he was going to die screaming, he was going to make damn well sure I died screaming also, so he woke me up. I went back to sleep, very happy that ordeal was over. It was just a couple of hours later I realized it wasn’t. Two more trains roared by that night, but at least with these, we knew it wasn’t the end of the world or alien intervention, just Union Pacific delivering fresh goods to the east. The next morning as we heated and drank coffee; we chalked up the weird night we had just experienced as one for the books. We packed up and bade farewell to this farm in southern Kansas and headed toward Dodge City.