Miraculous Image

I have written about this before, but I urge you to read and reread this amazing story.

Open your minds and your hearts to the truth.  In a recent blog I described the miracle of life.  Today I will describe another miracle.  How did God record the crucifixion and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ, on a piece of cloth? 

Although a Christian, I am also a down to earth person and highly resistant to frauds of any sort. However, reading the following, how can one not be astonished?  How can one explain it as anything other than a miracle?

In a church in Turin, Italy, a large cloth is stored and protected.  The age of the cloth is in dispute.  It can only definitely be traced to 14th century France, but there are indications that it may have originated in Palestine and travelled through Turkey and ancient Constantinople before arriving in western Europe.  Radiocarbon tests in 1988 seemed to date it from the Middle Ages, but there is strong evidence that the small piece of material used in the test was anomalous. Other evidence and more recent tests strongly suggest that the cloth was fabricated in the first century.  It is made of fine linen in a herringbone weave.  The weave and the particular stitching are very distinctive and rare.  According to some experts, though such fabric was known in the ancient Middle East, no linen cloth comparable to it has been found that originated in medieval Europe.

The cloth bears the faint image of a crucified man. The image is anatomically accurate, and it depicts the front and back of a naked man of good form and about 5’10” tall.  Although tall for a first century Middle Eastern man , the height is not abnormal.  The image itself is a light, straw colored shading of the very top fibrils of the cloth, and it is microscopically shallow. There are certain features only visible with ultraviolet light, a phenomenon not understood until the 19th Century.

The ability to perceive details on the cloth is markedly and dramatically improved with photographic negatives that were not available until 1898.  These photographic negatives produced a positive image of the man on the cloth. Many more photographs have been taken since that time, most notably during exhaustive scientific examinations of the cloth in 1978, and these proved that one of the most amazing features of the image on the cloth is the fact that it is a photographic negative with three-dimensional qualities.  Using a high-tech image analyzer, scientists converted the figure on the cloth from a two-dimensional photo to a remarkably life-like, three-dimensional figure. This cannot be done with a regular photographic image. Nothing else like it has ever been seen.

There is much blood on the cloth, and testing proved it to be human blood type AB.  A full DNA analysis was not possible because of the cloth’s age and contamination caused by centuries of human handling.  The blood was on the cloth before the human image was formed, and there is no part of the image under the blood, further evidence that no artist could have painted it. The blood contains significant amounts of bilirubin, which means that the person exuding the blood had suffered extreme and prolonged torture before death on the cross. At places on the Shroud the blood is surrounded by a serum ring that is only detectable by microscopic examination. Again, no artist could have created this effect. 

The cloth has been examined by many forensic pathologists.  They attest to the fact that the man in the cloth was dead when he was covered head to toe, front and back, by the linen fabric.  He had been beaten severely before crucifixion.  There are hundreds of scourge marks all over his back and the back of his legs, sometimes extending to his sides and chest. These marks show bloody dumbbell patterns that would have been created by some sort of whip (perhaps a Roman flagrum).  A beating of this severity would have left the victim in severe shock and barely alive. The man also wore a crown of thorns.  Instead of a circlet as shown in paintings of Jesus on the cross, the man in the cloth had a thorny cap covering the entire top of his head.  The thorns had penetrated his forehead and scalp, and the blood flows are visible on the linen.  His cheeks show the effects of being struck in the face, and his shoulders have abrasions consistent with the marks of someone having had to carry the crossbeam of a cross.

The man’s hands had apparently been nailed to a cross.  Medieval artists depicted nails driven through the palms of the crucified Jesus, but the cloth shows nails being driven through the wrists.  Only in this way would the nailed hands have supported the weight of a crucified man as he moved up and down, in excruciating pain, in an attempt to breathe.  The feet were also nailed to the cross, probably by a single nail driven through the feet into the crucifixion post.  Blood flows from both hand and foot wounds are visible on the cloth.

If a crucified man was not dead when it came time to remove him from the cross, the Roman practice was to break his leg bones.  That way he could no longer push himself up to breathe, and death would come almost immediately.  According to the gospel account, when the soldiers approached Jesus he appeared already dead.  Rather than breaking his leg bones, a Roman soldier thrust a spear into his side to confirm his death, “bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”  A spear wound, blood, and fluid stains are clearly visible on the side of the man in the cloth. Forensic evidence shows the wound to be post-mortem.  A post-mortem lance thrust into the thoracic cavity is consistent with the release of blood and a massive pleural effusion of fluid from the area around the heart.  This fluid had accumulated because of the trauma of the brutal scourging and crucifixion.  The pleural effusion would have the appearance of water.

There are other things on the cloth that are of interest.  In the area where the cloth covered the man’s feet there is dirt, consisting of limestone particles, that is markedly consistent with a rare variety of limestone found in the area of Jerusalem and only a few other places on Earth.  Also, pollen grains were found on the surface of the cloth.  There are some 380,00 species of plants on Earth that have been identified, and the scientific study of the pollen of these plants is known as palynology. Each geographical region of Earth has its own unique palynological imprint, and forensic palynology has been employed in criminal, historical, or archaeological contexts as evidence to place an object in a certain place at a certain time of year. Noted criminologist Max Frei of Zurich, Switzerland, studied pollen from the cloth and concluded that the cloth originated in Palestine and then traveled through Anatolia (Turkey) to Constantinople, France, and Italy.

The most intriguing question of all is how the cloth’s image was created.  Over the decades there have been many attempts to explain it.  In the early years many detractors, claiming the cloth image to be a fraud, insisted that it was a medieval painting; but overwhelming evidence proved that to be impossible.  There are no paints on the cloth, and no artist has ever painted a negative image of such complexity. The image is not discernable at a distance of less than 3 feet, some minutiae are only detectable by using a microscope, and anatomical details are far beyond the abilities of any medieval artist. There have been other hypotheses trying to prove the image to be clever hoax, but many of them are patently ludicrous, and none of them survive the weight of careful examination. Truth is, there are some people who would rather die than admit that the cloth is authentic or that God is real. 

Many scientists from various disciplines have performed in-depth examinations of this cloth over the years, and some physicists have developed an intriguing radiation-based image formation hypothesis that is consistent with the image characteristics.  According to this theory, the body of the man in the cloth became radiant, and that radiance was so intense that it scorched the man’s image onto the face of the cloth.  The radiance was extremely powerful and incredibly brief, otherwise the linen would have been incinerated. 

Please, examine the evidence yourselves.  If you do, I believe that you will be convinced as I am that the Shroud of Turin was truly the burial cloth of our Savior, and on it are recorded the story of his crucifixion and resurrection.  There is a website, shroud.com, entirely dedicated to this subject, and some excellent YouTube programs on are also focused on the Shroud of Turin.  I suggest you check them out.  If you can explain the shroud as anything other than a miracle, please let me know.

Somehow this cloth survived through the ages and exists today to present what appears to be scientifically irrefutable evidence supporting the Biblical account of Good Friday and the first Easter morning.  Only today’s technology could unravel the mysteries on this ancient linen.

Forget the miserable headlines touting today’s news.  Human life is ephemeral.  Hold on to this important fact. 


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