Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday Department

About this time of year My First Wife and I get two or three well-meaning (forwarded) e-mails that are all a-twitter about the Shroud of Turin (Yawn). That shroud is an impostor posing as the one that wrapped Jesus’ buried body.

The Easter Morning Story told by the Apostle John begins at an empty tomb. Well, almost empty. Burial cloths* and a face-covering remained behind. John 20:7 tells us that the napkin, which was placed over the face of Jesus, was not thrown aside like the grave clothes.

The Apostle John explains that the napkin was neatly folded and was set aside from the other strips of cloth.

“Early that Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, ‘They have taken the Lord's body and I don't know where they have taken Him!’

“Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see. The other disciple outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the napkin that had covered Jesus’ face was folded up and lying to one side.”

This Bible verse (John 20:7) shoots holes in the shroud of Turin fantasy. Even though that shroud was officially declared a fake several years ago, many people still hold to the idea that it has Jesus’ impression in it. No so, says Scripture.

*Burial cloths. Plural. Some versions say “burial strips.” These cloths/strips are also called swaddling cloths. Now, where have we read that before?

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