The Shroud of Turin is a long linen cloth about 14 by 4 feet that is said to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. The linen cloth showed the imprints of back and front of a human person. The stains on the shroud or imprints are a photographic negative which, when photographed, reveal a positive picture.
You may not believe that the Shroud of Turin is really the Shroud of Christ but consider first the evidence. On the forehead of the frontal imprint clearly appear drops of blood due to the crown of thorns; on the right side of the chest the flow of blood, caused by a wound is visible; the nails that secured the body on the cross went through the wrist not the palm of the hands. The pull on each arm (measured by the angle formed by the direction of blood on the wrists) must have been about 200 pounds. Imprint of the back showed that friction against the wood of the cross pushed the cap of thorns into the back of the head and that the scourges fell in pairs chiefly on the back and shoulders, although they show up over the entire body.
Perhaps a single nail pierced both feet. The left leg seems to be arched over the right. The imprint of this arching on the cloth made the left leg appear shorter than the right, causing the Byzantine missionaries in Russia to embody this belief in the Vladimir Cross. Countless crosses in Russia bear that lower, slanting bar as a remembrance of the Holy Shroud.
A weapon evidently tore into the right auricle of the chest, which connects with the cava vein, hence the downward flow of blood. The right cheekbone of the body is swollen and the cartilage fractured. Thus, the imprints on the Holy Shroud tell a tale of excessive torture and death of a human being.
Are the gospel narratives of Scripture relative to the passion of Christ akin to the imprints on the shroud? The evangelists write that Jesus was wrapped in a linen cloth after crucifixion; that He was struck in the face, scourged, crowned with thorns, pierced with a spear and crucified. The imprints or stains on the shroud show that a man had a fractured right cheekbone and the biblical account of the passion of Christ tells of many blows Jesus received in the face, and of the cruel scourging mandated by Pilate, a cruel scourging which the imprints testify to.
In the Gospel of John; Chapter 19: Verses 1-2 we read "Pilate then took Jesus and had him scourged and the soldiers, plaiting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head." Drops of blood due to the crown of thorns appearing on the forehead of the frontal imprint of the shroud. It was evidently not the custom to crown crucified persons with the crown of thorns for neither of the two crucified with Jesus bore the crown. Furthermore, on the right side of the chest, the imprints of blood from a wound from a spear, therefore the drops of blood from the crowning of thorns and blood from the wound evident on the shroud and marks of a cruel scourging point to Christ as the person of the Shroud.
There have been attempts to prove the shroud as fraud; all of no avail. Oxford, Zurich and Arizona universities, using radio carbon dating, concluded that the shroud was made in the 14th century but Dmitri Kouznetsov, a Russian biochemist said "that the linen-distortion factor, environmental action and fire damage in 1532, which added carbon atoms to the shroud, made for a false dating.
Professor Max Frei, Director of the Scientific Lab of the Swiss Police, identified 48 classes of Pollen on the tissue of the shroud, some of which belong to plants, long extinct that flourished in first-century Palestine, attesting to environmental action, which according to Dmitri helped to cause flawed carbon dating and really placed the shroud back to the time of Christ and not the 14th century.
In Lanciano, Italy, in 700, after the consecration in the Mass, in a Miracle of the Eucharist, the Host turned into flesh, the wine into blood. Scientific research determined in 1970 that the flesh and blood were of human origin and that the blood type was AB, and in 1978, NASA scientists discovered that the blood type on the Shroud of Turin was also AB positive. Also, several professors, using NASA instruments in 1977, discovered that the images on the shroud are three-dimensional, thus squelching any possibility of fraud.
In a time of moral decay, thermal radiation had left imprints on a linen cloth of a person who had gone through a passion and death, a person to whom all the evidence points to be Jesus Christ. I am inclined to believe the evidence and acknowledge Him as our Saviour and Redeemer. The imprints tell us of the price of our redemption, which He endured for us as a human being like us. He is truly king as the inscription written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek testifies. "Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews."
He is King different from all other kings for His Kingdom is not of this world, but of the next, Heaven.
Joseph Carrus is a Dunkirk resident.