I knew my great grandmother, even though she died when I was a young boy, I have evidence that she had existed because I saw her with my own eyes. And I believe that Abraham Lincoln lived as I have been to his statue in Washington and read his four-score speech which many witnessed, and is recorded in modern history. I believe in the existence of Elvis because my wife tells me of a concert she went to as a teenager to see him perform. But there are atheists, and agnostics and many non-believers that do not believe, and doubt the existence of Jesus Christ because we don’t have His robe and sandals displayed in a museum somewhere.
That brings up the subject of the Shroud of Turin…….
The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth believed by some to have covered the buried body of Jesus Christ. Accounts of Jesus’ followers wrapping his body with a linen cloth are mentioned in all four gospels Matthew 27:59, Mark 15:46 Luke 23:53, John 19:40. The Shroud of Turin is a 14.25 foot long and 3.5 foot wide piece of cloth. There are many who speculate The Shroud of Turin to be the burial cloth laid over Jesus after he was crucified. Many think that the shroud of Turin is the image of Jesus. The image is crude and difficult to see, but the full body of a man can be seen. The theory that some have of the Shroud is that it was placed on Jesus when he was buried and his image was somehow transferred to the cloth. The way it occurred is unknown. Many believe it to be a fake, and some believe it to be a clever painting done in the 1300s.
Those that believe in the authenticity of The Shroud believe that the image occurred due to contact with the Jesus’ skin. There are even others that believe that there was a supernatural burst of energy that occurred at the resurrection, causing the image to appear on the linen.
The shroud bears appears to be that of a crucified man. There are wounds that appear around the hairline, that co-inside with the description of the crown of thorns. There is also a wound in the area of the chest, which could be the piercing wound inflicted on Jesus shortly after His death. There even appears to be blood stains on the cloth in all the areas where Jesus was wounded, on His hands, feet and head. Over the whole body, there are over 100 marks that could be from being beat and scourged. There are blood stains around the wrists, which if the Shroud was authentic, would support the theory that some have that Jesus was actually pierced through His wrists, and not His hands. The man in the Shroud was probably somewhere between 5′11″ and 6′1″.
What is the history of the Shroud?
The Shroud was first displayed at a church in Lirey, France in 1355.Huge crowds gathered to see it. Eventually, the Shroud becomes the property of the Catholic Church who has kept it at Turin, Italy since 1578.
The Anti-Shroud crowd has very strong evidence that points to the Shroud being a fake. Carbon 14 dating places the date of the cloth around 1325. This is about the time that it first showed up in ancient literature. Although carbon 14 dating is not 100% accurate, many believe that it constitutes enough evidence to disclaim it. Many scientists have looked the stains, and examined the stains on the Shroud under a microscope; and some believe it to be red paint, while some believe it is blood. If it is a painting, there are no brushstrokes to indicate an artist’s strokes.
Almost 4 million modern day people have viewed the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud of Turin is a highly debated artifact and both sides have fairly convincing arguments. . Some believe the Shroud of Turin to be authentic, while others believe that it is a rather sophisticated hoax. A few people have even claimed that the shroud was never intended to be anything more than a work of art. Most experts are much divided on the Shroud, concluding that the shroud is either 100% authentic or 100% a fake.
So what should we believe about the Shroud of Turin?
The truth is, no one can say with any degree of certainty that the Shroud of Turin is real or a hoax. The best we can do is analyze all the information, and then decide for ourselves.
As the debate goes on and on, it seems the debaters concerning the Shroud of Turin only care about its authenticity. To me it does not matter if the shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. The shroud is a cloth made of linen. Even if it is authentic, we in no way should believe that that would make it “sacred”, and attach our faith to it. True or fake, The Shroud of Turin deserves neither our worship or our reverence.
Our Lord Jesus Christ lived a life, blameless, without sin. He died for you and me to redeem us of our sins. He was crucified, buried and rose from the dead, that is where the basis of where our faith lies. We as believers do not base our faith on the Shroud of Turin or any other artifact that is now found or may be found in the future. We are believers; we believe the truth about Christ as the Spirit has enlightened our hearts and we have read in His Word. With the Body of Christ, it is all about our relationship with our God who became flesh and dwelt among us, and became the sacrifice for our sins that we might have eternal life. So be it true or a fake, I do not need the Shroud of Turin to teach me that Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life, he died for my sins on a cross, was buried and rose again…..