Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a lecture at one of the area churches where an invited expert on the Shroud of Turin, Russ Breault, gave a fascinating presentation. The presentation included a replica of the 14 feet x 3.5 feet. Shroud. It made for a captivating hour of time.
The scientifically examined cloth has been scientifically and technologically analyzed, which has at least proven that it is not a forgery, painted by an artist, or blood stains placed on the cloth. The image on the Shroud is of a crucified man. All of the markings cited in Scripture, and of a Roman crucifixion, are evident in the image on the Shroud.
Where the nails in the hands and feet would have been placed, and the puncture in the side, and no apparent broken legs, make it a remarkable relic. How the image on the cloth was actually created remains a mystery.
If anyone does not know what the Shroud of Turin is, it is believed to be the burial cloth of a severely beaten, crucified man, 5-feet, 10 inches tall. The variable shading of the image on the Shroud is very shallow, only two microns deep where the image appears. The side of the Shroud where the back of the body was lying substantiates several Scripture references heretofore not cited by earlier researchers.
The back view includes up to 120 blood stained whip marks, and blood stains where a crown of thorns would have been worn. The marks of blood found on the cloth are proven to be authentic Type AB blood, and containing the DNA of a male. The cloth depicts blood stains in vivid red color, which is caused by an internal chemical reaction within the body when extreme stress is experienced.
An important finding indicates that the blood stains were made on the cloth before the “photo image” of the male figure appeared on the Shroud.
Christians over the centuries have believed that the Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. The Shroud reinforces our faith, that the death and resurrection of Jesus happened as reported in Scripture.
The cloth containing the body is believed to have simply collapsed on itself after a significant event and flash of light extricated the body from within the cloth. It is said that the Shroud is a “Receipt” for the transaction of the death and resurrection of Christ.
Belief in the Shroud is a matter of faith. Faith cannot be proven.
Not until the scientific era has analysis of the Shroud been undertaken. The Shroud was first photographed in 1898 when it was discovered that the image is actually a negative; it becomes a photographic negative.
The image has lighter and darker impressions, making it technologically possible to see it in three dimensions. Computer enhancement has made it possible to construct what the face of Jesus may have looked like. Presentations of this projection are viewable in videos found online, for example at www.ShroudEncounter.com, or at www.ShroudNM.com.
Time dating analysis of the Shroud indicates its origin to be between 280 BC – 220 AD. Pollen tests indicate the presence of spores that are known to the areas of Constantinople and Edessa, Turkey, and Jerusalem.
The Shroud had been kept in Turkey from approximately 525 to 944. It is believed that the Knights Templar captured the Shroud during the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204). The Shroud was in France for about 200 years beginning in 1356.
The Shroud was in the possession of the Savoy Family (royalty of Italy) from 1450 until 1982, when it came under the custodial care of the Vatican. The Shroud has been housed at St. John the Baptist Church in Turin, Italy since 1578.
To find out more about the Shroud of Turin or the Lectures presented by Russ Breault, go to www.ShroudEncounter.com.
Rev. Wilfred Verhoff is Priest Associate, St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Lewis Center.
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