The Burial Clothes of Jesus?

"This picture taken on February 20, 2012 shows a Facsimile of 'The Shroud of Turin' at the Cathedral of Malaga." Image and caption source

“The Shroud of Turin has long been a source of reverence and intrigue,” as The Huff Post Religion put it. Measuring 4.4 meters  by 1.1 meters, the rectangular linen cloth is “[c]onsidered one of the most important Christian relics [since] many believe it to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ, due to the faint image visible on its surface that appears to show a naked man bearing wounds consistent with crucifixion.” (Ibid) 

"Detail of Shroud of Turin in Chiesa della SS. Annunziata church." Image and caption credit

But there’s an ongoing, raging debate about its authenticity. Oxford University did carbon dating on the shroud before and declared it “a medieval forgery.” But there are those who contest that result, claiming that the samples might have been “contaminated.” A new study theorized that radiation emanating from the earthquake at that time imprinted the image on the shroud.

Personally, I don’t believe that the shroud was the burial clothes of our Lord Jesus. According to John 20:6-7, “Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself.” (ESV) Note that John described the face cloth as separate from the linen cloths. And it’s not just one piece but many pieces of linen “cloths”. Josh McDowell, author of the bestselling “Evidences that Demand a Verdict,” described the Jewish burial procedure at that time this way: “They’d take a piece of linen cloth 30 centimeters wide. They would start to wrap the body from the feet. In between the folds, they put the cement consistency and the spices. They wrapped the body to the armpits, put the arms down, started below the fingers again, wrapped to the neck, and put a separate piece around the head.” (Source: “Was Christ Crucified?”) So, the Lord was wrapped like a mummy using one-foot wide strips of cloth and not just with one big piece. 

Image credit
However, this controversy about the Shroud of Turin should not distract us from the real issue, that is, that our Lord Jesus has indeed risen. I just don’t want us to stake our faith on a cloth “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Brothers and sisters, our Lord has risen!


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