The Shroud of Turin and removal of the Two Ton Rock

For all those people fascinated with the Shroud of Turin, it is the linen cloth is which Jesus was wrapped and buried after his Death on the Cross. However, the story does not end here. In the Gospel of Mark (16.1), Mary Magdalene, and James’ mother, Mary decided to go to the sealed tomb to anoint the body with spices, after the passing of the Sabbath. They were worried about how they could gain access to a tomb sealed by a Roman seal of authority, guarded by Roman soldiers and blocked by a 2 ton Rock. Instead, they found the seal broken, the 2 ton stone rolled away, the Shroud of Turin folded carefully and the tomb empty. So something miraculous had happed there between Friday and the Sabbath. Jesus’ body had vanished from under his burial shroud, now known as the Shroud of Turin, also known as the image of Edessa and the Holy Mandylion.

Where were the Roman guards, all this time? Remember that these guards are very highly disciplined troops. They know that the penalty of falling down on their job means an instantaneous order of “Burn Him Alive” as a signal lesson to other soldiers. However, these soldiers have been subjected to something really strange going around the vicinity of Jesus’ tomb. The sky is unusually dark, even during the day. An earthquake has taken place. And then suddenly they see some strange supernatural power (let’s call it an Angel) rolling away the stone from the mouth of the tomb. Nothing human can roll away a two ton rock. When they return, they find the Shroud of Turin there, and the tomb empty. So now what do they do? If they report this to the Centurion, he is going to order them to be put to death for allowing the seal to be broken. So they go to the Sanhedrin.

The Sanhedrin has been responsible for accusing a man falsely for blasphemy and getting him executed on the Cross. They think that they are secure in their earthly religious and political power, now. Jesus is dead. But this seems to be disturbing news, brought to them by the Roman soldiers. They bribe them to tell everyone that the body has been stolen away by the disciples of Jesus. And that is the story some people still believe, to this day.

Now what really happened on that day has been lost in translation. The gospels while being translated into other languages use the words “the rock was rolled a large distance away from the tomb.” In John, the Greek term airoo is used. It means “carried away.” The rock was picked up and place up high, over an incline and up a sloping area, and above the mouth of the tomb. The natural inclination of anybody coming to inspect the tomb will be, “So, all right, the seal is broken. Someone dared to do it. But what earthly power lifted up that stone and placed it on that slope?” According to the Gospel of Luke,

The mouth of Jesus tomb had been secured by a rock with the help of levers. This was common practice during Roman times. It was then sealed with the Emperor’s seal. Josephus, Roman sources and the “Toledoth jeshu” say that the tomb was empty. The burial shroud was folded. If somebody had stolen the body, he would not have left the neatly shroud folded there. The followers of Jesus could not have gone to the wrong burial tomb. If that was so, the Romans would have immediately taken them to the right tomb and shown them the crucified body of Jesus. So one can only believe that a supernatural miracle which defies rational explanation, occurred here. Jesus rose from the dead. He was seen by Mary Magdalene and then by 500 of his followers. This cannot be a mass hallucination.

So now that we have the Shroud of Turin right in front of us, as a living proof of a miraculous sacred relic surviving from 1 AD, why should we not be surprised at something equally miraculous and unexplained, taking place during the time following Jesus’ burial in the tomb?

 

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