TITLE: Is He There or Is He Ain’t
DATE: August 12, 2019
TEXT: Matthew 24: 23-24 – ESV - Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
There are those who believe the white linen burial shroud, stored in Turin, Italy, was wrapped around the dead body of the Savior. There are those who think the shroud is a wondrous clever hoax done by some medieval artistic genius.
Now, while it will never be able for science to prove the Shroud did belong to the Christ; it could be possible to completely disprove its validity.
Indeed, in 1988 experts from the University of Arizona, Oxford and Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology, thought they had managed to do just that when they did radiocarbon testing on minute segments of the cloth.
When they were done the experts had decided the material in the Shroud was made somewhere between the years 1260 and 1390.
They didn’t try to fully explain where the man’s image comes from in the Shroud.
For them there was no point in pursuing that discussion since the cloth’s creation date precluded any miraculous event or Divine intervention. This is the point in the story where somebody is supposed to say, “Here endeth the reading.”
Indeed, that was the prevailing sentiment in ’88.
t stayed the prevailing sentiment until 2017, when, under a freedom of information request, some have decided the decision was flawed, because the sample provided to the research team was flawed. They said the file was tainted by repair work which had been done by some nuns after part of the Shroud’s perimeter had been burned in a fire.
They propose a new and a more complete study be made of the Shroud....something the Vatican is not likely to allow.
“You see”, the Vatican explains, “If we honor all those scientific requests to perform this test or that, pretty soon there wouldn’t be any Shroud left.”
And so the debate continues.
Now you might wonder if I have any opinions. The answer is, ”Yes, I have two of them.”
You know, if you go to Jerusalem the guides can show you three places where Jesus is said to have been buried. Which is right? Nobody knows Jesus isn’t there. Similarly, is this the Shroud of our Savior, no one will ever know.
What can be known is this: to save our souls, Jesus carried our sins to the cross, and having lived a perfect life He died. His glorious third-day resurrection from the dead is the foundation and capstone of our faith.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I don’t know if You were ever in Turin’s Shroud but I do know You live in Holy Scripture. Help me meet and grow better acquainted with You there. In Your Name I pray. Amen.
The devotion for today was inspired by various recent news articles. For further reading you may wish to go to this address: https://www.newser.com/story/278239/theres-new-hope-for-believers-in-holy-shroud.html and the article written by Arden Dier.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html