Importance of the Shroud?

One Solitary Sign!

A story about an unparalleled person named Jesus has been passed down through the centuries.  Is there any tangible, extraordinary evidence corroborating what the Bible calls “the Gospel” story?  Yes! Today a visual witness exists affirming the authenticity of the Jesus story!  It is, in fact, an artifact that has been studied by scientists more than any other artifact in history.  


An ancient burial cloth displays the faint image of a crucified man and shows the unique wounds mentioned in the Biblical narrative of Jesus' death.  Yet, surprisingly, scientists have been unable to either fully replicate this image or to explain how this remarkable image could have formed naturally.  In that regard, "Its origin remains a mystery wrapped in an enigma" (National Geographic, 04.17.2015).  The ghostly image has some properties associated with being a high-definition, three-dimensional, photographic negative!  The presence of 3-D information bears witness to “Intelligent Design.”  Yet, the most thorough scientific analysis of the image concluded it was not the work of an artist!  How can that be?  


“The man on the cloth” bears witness to only one man and to only one story known throughout all of history!  Does this cloth, known today as “the Shroud of Turin,” provide evidence for both the Passion and the Resurrection of Jesus?  Could this artifact be "the Father’s witness"
(1 John 5:9-10), the “attesting miracle from heaven,” which Jesus promised before his death and labeled The Sign of Jonah (see Matthew 12:38-42)?


The image apparently formed when an incredibly intense and extremely brief (miraculous) flash of ultraviolet light irradiated from the body inside the cloth as it dematerialized through the cloth which served as a film plate!


Unfortunately, most Bible scholars have not kept up with the scientific research related to the Shroud and have dismissed it as either unimportant or as unauthentic.  However, the Turin Shroud has the potential to greatly impact the theologian’s search for the historical Jesus!  Since the Enlightenment there has been a tendency to demythologize the New Testament and to view the Resurrection as something that existed only in the minds of Jesus’ followers.  Consequently, the Christ of history is blurred and the Christian’s assurance of hope beyond the grave is attacked.  In both of those matters, the Shroud of Turin is a game changer!  Next to love, the image on the Shroud is the supreme apologetic for the Church!


Stated concisely, if genuine, the Shroud of Turin is the most significant object on the planet!  Even after nearly two-thousand years the Shroud remains the incredible, miraculous "testimony of the Father" concerning His Son's death, burial, and Resurrection!  Its existence should enhance the believer's hope in resurrection and strengthen his or her faith in Jesus as indeed being the Son of God!


Journey of Faith

The Shroud of Turin has not only enhanced the author's faith, he has found it to be an effective aid in assisting others on their faith journey.  Last year the Lord brought a young, college-educated atheist into his life, Erik, along with his sweet wife, Kaylee, an RN, who was entirely Biblically illiterate.  It wasn't long before the Holy Spirit was tugging  on their hearts.  Both Erik and Kaylee became believers and disciples of Jesus due largely to the silent, yet powerful witness of the Shroud!

Believe!

What is the Significance of the Shroud?

  • The Holy Shroud is God's gracious gift for faith to every believer and to every doubting Thomas!
  • The miraculous image is the Father's silent, yet powerful "witness" to the truth of the Gospel! 
    (1 John 5:5-13)  Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised from the dead.
  • This amazing image is the strongest evidence humanity has for life after death, providing strong support for "the blessed hope" (Titus 2:13) of Christ's followers!
  • Today the Shroud is where science touches faith, a powerful apologetic in defense of the Christian Faith!
  • This extraordinary image "from heaven" is the special "Sign" Jesus promised to "a wicked generation"!  (Matt 12:38-42)
  • The Shroud is objective, tangible evidence for the theologian in his/her quest for the historical Jesus!
  • The Shroud served typologically as a holy "tabernacle" (σκηνή) during the high-priestly ministry of Jesus!  (Hebrews 9:11-12)
  • The image graphically and powerfully illustrates the great price Jesus voluntarily suffered for the punishment of our sins (i.e., substitutionary atonement)!  (1 Peter 3:18)
  • The image powerfully portrays the Father's love to redeem humanity!  (John 3:16)
  • The image serves as a warning of Judgment to come upon the wicked.

Retouched Caravaggio painting © 2003 Rev. Albert R. Dreisbach Jr. Collection, STERA, Inc.

Shroud Photos © 1978 Barrie M. Schwortz Collection, STERA, Inc.

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