There are many people out there who were under the impression that the Shroud of Turin is a medieval creation, from the times of Leonardo DaVinci. However, there is positive proof that the Shroud, -the sacred linen cloth which has been preserved through the ages as the cloth covering the body of Jesus, after it was taken down from the Cross,-has been in existence for a much longer period than the 15th and 16th centuries, when DaVinci lived.
This burial cloth is mentioned in Matthew, Luke, Mark and John. So when you read all The Four Gospels, you know that the body of Jesus Christ was buried in a linen shroud. This 14 feet x 3.5 feet Shroud is preserved in Turin. People revere it today as the Shroud of Turin.
However, why should this cloth be subject to so much controversy? That is because there are skeptics who are quite willing to waste lots of time trying to prove that this shroud is a fake made during medieval times. Now let us just imagine a day in the courts of the Roman Prefect of Judaea. His name is Pontius Pilate and a Jewish preacher has been brought before him, by the Sanhedrin to judge. The charges against this man, Jesus Christ, are blasphemy. Pontius Pilate has examined the man and has found him innocent of any crime. But the Sanhedrin wants him dead. That is because Jesus has been speaking out against their arbitrary practices. So they make up another story. Jesus is fomenting insurrection in the area against the Roman Empire. He is preaching sedition and that is why Pilate has to order his death. In his heart of hearts, Pilate knows that the man is innocent and he himself, the Prefect of Judea, is being manipulated by Jewish priests for their own selfish ends. And that is why he washes his hands, literally and figuratively, saying that the blood of this innocent man is not on his hands, even though he has been compelled through circumstances and mob pressure, to order his death.
The circumstances are now set for tragedy. An innocent man has been sent to his death. Jesus is crucified. His body is buried in a linen shroud. Now, here comes the most fascinating part of the history of this burial cloth. This shroud has the distinct imprint of a human body, both back and front. It also has bloodstains on it.
If you look at the biblical description of the crucifixion, Jesus was nailed to the Cross. This shroud has the clear image of a bearded man, lying with his hands folded. It has a bloodstain on the wrist, quite in keeping with the Roman method of nailing a human being through to the cross through the wrist, and not through the palms of the hands. This was so that the nailed wrists could bear up the weight of the body, hanging on the Cross. Apart from that there are puncture marks around the image’s scalp and forehead. This is consistent with the “Crown of Thorns” placed on Jesus’ forehead. One can also see marks of a Roman whip or flagrum piercing the leg and the torso. This is consistent with the fact that Jesus was whipped as he carried the Cross to Calvary.
Now, there are plenty of skeptics who say that amazingly skillful medieval artists- including Leonardo Da Vinci- forged the Shroud of Turin. But how could he have done so when there are historical references to it going back to the 1350s more than a century before he was born? And, if he had decided to create this amazingly complex image of a man on a piece of cloth through some photographic invention, how could he have duplicated the pollen found more than 2000 years ago or the 3:1 pattern used by the Syrians of Masada more than 2000 years ago, to weave this high-quality shroud? These were the findings of Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, a world-famous textile expert.
Apart from that, dust particles on the shroud match with particles of dust found in ancient tombs of Jerusalem. Two well-known research scientists Joseph Kohlbeck and Richard Levi-Setti recognize these dust particles as travertine limestone. The limestone dust particles on the shroud of Turin, and the dated limestone in the tombs are identical. So for all those people who consider the shroud to be a medieval fake, do they mean to say that the artist was clever enough to go back to Jerusalem, hunt out an ancient tomb, and then dust his creation literally with its dust? Can anyone consider a medieval IQ to be of such high caliber?
Some skeptics still believe that Leonardo Da Vinci created this shroud, while experimenting with the first camera. This assumption was because the image on that linen was like a photographic negative, with lights and shades. World-famous photographer Barrie Schwortz exploded this myth, when he analyzed the shroud for silver, which is one of the main components of any sort of photographic equipment, modern or “medieval”. And guess what? There is not even the slightest hint of silver in any form, in this linen shroud.
So, for all those skeptics out there, there is just one answer – the Shroud of Turin is exactly what it is- the sacred piece of linen, which covered the body of Jesus Christ.