The Resurrection

There is one event in the history of the world that has changed the entire course of mankind, more profoundly, than any other event: The resurrection of Jesus Christ. Today we continue to mark all time by the birth of Jesus Christ. I am writing this paragraph on January 22, 2016. In earlier times, this date would have been referred to as “The year of our Lord, 2016.”[1]

The Resurrection, the most important event ever recorded, is still celebrated every year at Easter, in remembrance of Jesus resurrection from the dead.

There are in excess of two billion people on the planet at this very moment who claim to believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for their eternal salvation.[2] They do so because of the tremendous amount of evidence that exists, which verifies that Jesus rose from the dead, just as He promised.

If the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a hoax, why have such a large percentage of the population of the earth continued to believe in, and observe this event for over 2,000 years? These are intelligent, sincere people who place their eternal salvation in the hands of a Savior, whom the solid record of eyewitness accounts are attested to; throughout ancient history, and are unimpeachable in their authenticity.

Because the claims of Jesus’ resurrection by the early Christian church have held such profound implications, the assertion of Jesus’ resurrection has always been under extremely close scrutiny from the very beginning. Over the course of the past 2,000 years, if there was even a fragment of proof to the contrary that Jesus had risen, it is certain that this evidence would have been brought forth, early in the history of the church, and today the resurrection would stand as a hoax. Instead, we discover the records of history reveal that the writers of the first century who testified that their leader had risen from the dead; were never successfully countermanded or impeached.

The reason that this had born true for 2,000 years is that the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is so overwhelming.

The New Testament describes over 500 eyewitnesses who saw Jesus alive after He had been brutally crucified.

1 Corinthians 15:3 (Paul writing) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

After Jesus was seen alive, a massive writing frenzy began to record and substantiate the authenticity of its occurrence. If there had been a single dissenting vote against Jesus being alive after the resurrection, these writings would have been examined, verified, and placed into the record.

Paul intimates here in 1 Corinthians 15:3 that any one of these 500 witnesses who were still alive themselves when he wrote this verse, could have written in opposition, if Jesus had not risen; because Paul said: “The greater part remain to the present.”

There is not a single record from this early period of the Christian church which states that Jesus did not rise from the dead. No physical body of Jesus was ever produced, and not one of those whom Paul describes as being an eyewitness of Jesus resurrection, some 500 in total; ever wrote in opposition to Jesus’ resurrection having occurred. The reason: There was just too much evidence in favor of His resurrection. Jesus had been so widely seen alive by so many different people, over a period of 40 days, that it was impossible to deny that He had risen.

The Guarded Tomb

One of the most compelling pieces of evidence from the resurrection of Jesus is the fact that the chief priests and Pharisees requested that Pilate make the tomb of Jesus “as secure as you know how.” They stated that Jesus had told them that He would rise on the third day. Not believing that this was possible, they did not want anyone to have the opportunity to steal Jesus’ body from the tomb and later claim that He had risen.

Matthew 27:62- 66 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.

It is my opinion, that by this time; Pilate had seriously considered that Jesus was who He claimed to be. He said that he had found no fault in Jesus. When Pilate questioned Jesus and informed him that he had the power to set Him free or to crucify Him; Jesus told Pilate that His arrest and condemnation to death, were the result of God’s plan to free the world of their sins, not his; Pilate was stunned. By Pilates’s words to the leaders of Israel: make it as secure as you know how; it appears that this was a challenge to these men.

After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, the guard who had been appointed to watch the tomb, reported to the chief priests and not to Pilate. This means that this company of men were personally chosen by the leaders of Israel for their diligence and reputation. No one was going to get by this guard to steal Jesus body.

Matthew 28:11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. (NIV)

This indicates that the guard who was appointed to watch the tomb, came from the Temple police, not the Roman soldiers. Had these men been appointed by Pilate to guard the tomb of Jesus they would have reported to Pilate after the body of Jesus was missing on the morning of the third day. The fact that these men were from the Temple guard requires that they had a much greater interest in the outcome of this event than the government of the Romans, who cared very little for Jesus or the Jews. The comment by Pilate “make it as secure as you know how,” was intended as a rebuke against the Pharisees. Pilate could see how utterly terrified the leaders of Israel were that Jesus body might be stolen and rumor of His resurrection should spread. Pilate observed the fear of the Pharisees when they delivered Jesus to him and their fear had not been abated by His death.

Should the body of Jesus be missing from the tomb on the third day, the Pharisees understood that the matter of Jesus of Nazareth would never be over. Because of their fear and the surety of making Jesus death the final page in His story, the leaders of Israel did precisely what Herod had chided them for; they made the tomb as secure as they could. The careers, lifestyles, and great positions of authority for the entire leadership of Israel; depended upon whether or not they could remove the name of Jesus from the memory of the people, forever. We can have confidence that the leadership of the Jews sternly instructed the guard that their very lives were at stake should Jesus body be stolen from the tomb.

If this sentry happened to be from the guard of Roman cohorts, these men were under the threat of a swift death should the body of Jesus be taken by thieves while they were guarding the tomb. The penalty for a Roman soldier who is derelict in his duty in guarding a prisoner, dead or alive; was the same as the condemned. In this case, because Jesus was crucified; any Roman soldier who had permitted Jesus body to be stolen, would also be crucified.

Suffice it to say that there was no possibility that any of the men who were watching this tomb would be found asleep.

We should understand that regardless of the number of men who guarded the tomb, they did so vigilantly.

Finally, the entrance to Jesus tomb was protected by a very large stone, weighing from 2,000 to 4,000 pounds. Moving such an object would be no small task; requiring several strong men and causing a great deal of noise in the process. The task of rolling such a stone into place from an elevated and sloped track, would be very easy. However, once this object had been set in place, rolling this large stone back uphill to open the tomb, would be extremely difficult.[3]

Empirical Evidence From Archeology

Over the course of many years, the Shroud of Turin has come under great scrutiny and skepticism. Up until recently, it was the belief that the Shroud may have been a forgery.

Recent in-depth testing of the Shroud, has revealed that it is definitely not a forgery and contains stunning evidence that is now being described as “unobtainable by any technology, method, or procedure known to man today.”[4]

Forensic Doctors have intensely examined the Shroud of Turin for conclusions that can be drawn for the type of wounds and cause of death of the victim that are seen on the image of the shroud.[5] The stunning details that have been discovered, reveals a man who was crucified and then covered with this linen, both front and back.

Pierced Wrists:

One of the wrists that is seen on the image of the shroud bears a large round wound that medical experts claim was made from the piercing of the second wrist that is hidden by the hands that were folded over each other.

Spear Wound in the Side:

An upward thrust wound is visible near the thoracic cavity of the heart, that medical experts state was made after death. Examination of the stains near this area of the shroud indicate that there is the presence of both red blood cells and clear serum that came from this lesion.

The crown of thorns:

The presence of many small puncture wounds located around the perimeter of the forehead and scalp area.

The scourge:

Many linear wounds located on the entire upper torso and legs that are consistent with the very distinctive Roman Flagrum, that present the “dumbbell” type wounds, that are seen on the shroud.

Beaten in the face:

Massive swelling from wounds inflicted over the face, indicating a severe beating.

Blood evidence of crucifixion:

Indications of blood that has streamed down both arms by gravity, that came from the outstretched arms of this crucified man—flowing from the pierced wrists, down the arms, onto the chest.

Both feet pierced by a single spike:

A large puncture wound to both feet that was caused by a large spike being driven through one foot over the top of the other.

The First tests of the Shroud were faulty

Although faulty radiocarbon testing of the Shroud in 1988 first indicted that this burial cloth was from 1260-1390,[6] recent discoveries have proven that the initial samples used in those tests were from repairs made to the shroud much later than the original linen material of the shroud.[7] According to Dr. Raymond Rogers, of the Los Alamos National Laboratory:

“The dye found on the radiocarbon sample was not used in Europe before about a.d. 1291 and was not common until more than 100 years later. The combined evidence from chemical kinetics, analytical chemistry, cotton content, and pyrolysis/ms proves that the material from the radiocarbon area of the shroud is significantly different from that of the main cloth. The radiocarbon sample was thus not part of the original cloth and is invalid for determining the age of the shroud.”[8]

In samples taken from the original linen material of the shroud that were burned in a fire in 1532 at a chapel in France, Dr. Rogers, one of the original scientists who examined the faulty samples that determined the wrong age of the Shroud; states that he is certain the original linen material will most certainly be dated at the precise time that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified in Jerusalem in 32 A.D.

“A significant amount of charred cellulose was removed during a restoration of the shroud in 2002. Material from different scorch locations across the shroud was saved in separate containers. The elemental carbon could be completely cleaned in concentrated nitric acid, thus removing all traces of foreign fibers, sebum from repeated handling, and adsorbed thymol from an unfortunate procedure to sterilize the shroud’s reliquary in 1988. In addition, the separate samples would give a “cluster” of dates, always a desirable procedure in archaeology. A new radiocarbon analysis should be done on the charred material retained from the 2002 restoration.”[9]

“I think that I can come very close to proving that the Shroud of Turin was used to bury the historic Jesus.”[10]

Although Dr. Rogers is a man of science, not a man of God, he was intrigued with the Shroud of Turin and determined to discover its true nature and origin.

“I don’t believe in miracles that defy the laws of nature.”[11]

At the time of Dr. Rogers’ death on March 8, 2005, he had gone from complete skeptic to a believer that the Shroud of Turin was the burial cloth of the historic person, known as Jesus of Nazareth.

How the Shroud came to prominence:

In May of 1898, an Italian photographer by the name of Secondo Pia was permitted to take photographs of the Shroud of Turin. On May 28, 1898, after having taken several images of the Shroud, Mr. Pia was stunned by the results that lay before him. The negatives of the photos revealed a positive image, meaning that the image on the Shroud cloth was itself already a negative. Many of Secondo Pia’s peers believed that he had constructed an elaborate hoax, and accused him of committing fraud. In 1931, a second photographer, Guiseppe Enrie also achieved the same results by his own photographs of the Shroud. The images of both photographers revealed on two separate occasions, that the image on the Shroud of Turin was in fact; a negative that occurred by a process that was unknown.[12]

[13]

The image on the Shroud of Turin depicts a man who is about 6 feet tall, with a full beard and shoulder-length hair. He is muscular and tall, with pronounced wound around his head from small sharp objects. His face is severely beaten and swollen. Clear marks from a Roman Scourge are visible on his back, chest, and legs. A nail has pierced both hands at the place where the wrist meets the hand, between the “The Radial, Ulna and Carpal bones.” Placing the nail in this location would cause the thumb to turn inward. We notice from the Shroud that the thumb is not visible, having turned inward.

How the image was transferred to the Shroud:

One of the most interesting discussions concerning the shroud is how the image was transferred to the cloth. Scientific testing reveals that the human likeness of this crucified man was not intricately painted on the linen fabric. After thousands of hours of intense scientific examination since 1930, researchers have determined that the shroud was irradiated from the inside-out; resulting in a relatively high definition image.[14] Scientists have stated that whatever the source may be for the radiation which caused the shroud image, we do not have the capacity today, with any present technology; to duplicate neither the energy required nor the image that was transferred to the cloth. Alexander Belyakov suggests that an intense but extremely short burst of energy, lasting just hundredths of a second, coming from inside the shroud; caused the image transfer.[15]

Examination by a forensic pathologist:

Dr. Robert Bucklin is a world-renown forensic pathologist and medical examiner, and former Deputy Coroner of Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Bucklin systematically conducted an intense and thorough examination of the minute details of the wounds that are depicted on the image of the shroud. In my opinion, the following autopsy report by Dr. Bucklin is so compelling, it should be included here for your evaluation. It is clear from the following description that the person whom Dr. Bucklin is describing is Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified on a Roman cross 2,000 years ago.

We should understand that due to the magnitude of evidence that the shroud contains, a detailed and descriptive autopsy was possible. The details of the blood stains and injuries to the body that the shroud contains were made increasingly visible by the supernatural process that was involved in irradiating the image onto the burial cloth. The New Testament scriptures indicated that when the disciples came to the tomb that Jesus had been buried in, on the morning of the third day, they observed that the burial cloth was still intact. Indications were that the body had come out of the burial cloth; it had not been opened and set aside as would normally been done when a body was taken out of such a cloth. Jesus’ body had come through the cloth covering, by some magnificent process. When Jesus burst forth through the grave clothes, His image, as well as all of the elements of His blood and injuries; were all imprinted onto the cloth material that remained in the tomb.

John 20:3-7 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.

When Peter arrived at Jesus’ tomb, he noticed something that stunned him. If someone had broken into the tomb and stolen the body of Jesus, the burial cloths that covered His body would have been thrown to the side in disarray. On the other hand, if Jesus’ body had been resurrected as He had predicted, then the burial cloths would be lying in their original positions undisturbed. From this description in John 20:3-7, it is apparent that the head cloth had retained the original shape of Jesus’ head, as He had laid under it in the tomb. This head cloth was still separate from the other longer burial cloth by a distance, equal to the space that would be normal between the neck and the upper chest where the covering of the body should have started. Peter’s momentary pause indicates that he was considering how the grave clothes could have remained in this orderly fashion, if Jesus’ body had been stolen. No robber would have taken the time to refold the grave clothes into their original position after they removed the body. When John enters the tomb after hearing Peter’s silence, he also sees the grave clothes in their original position, and “believes.”

Both Peter and John observed that the grave clothes looked as though Jesus’ body was still within it, even though it was clear that He was no longer in the tomb. Jesus had been resurrected!

All of the following comments were made by Dr. Bucklin, evaluating the evidence that is found on the Shroud of Turin.[16]

“I have presented a scenario, based on reasonable medical probability, as to how a forensic pathologist medical examiner would conduct an examination of the Shroud of Turin image and the conclusions that he would reach as the result of such studies.”

Qualification and medical background of Dr. Bucklin:

“For over 50 years as a Forensic Pathologist, I have been actively involved with the investigation of deaths which come under the jurisdiction of a coroner of Medical Examiner. During that time, I have personally examined over 25,000 bodies by autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

For most of that same period of time, I have had an abiding interest in the study of the Shroud of Turin from a medical view point. It seemed to be a natural decision for me to integrate my two interests and to try to record the results of what would have been done if the human body image on the Shroud of Turin were to be examined by a modern day Medical Examiner’s office.”

Overall impressions of the person whose image appears on the Shroud of Turin:

“The full body imprint, front and back, together with the individual characteristics of blood stains on the cloth, which represent specific types of injury, make it quite feasible for an experienced forensic pathologist to approach the examination of the Shroud image as would a medical examiner performing an autopsy on a person who has died under unnatural circumstances. It is the aim of this presentation to replicate such an autopsy examination using the image on the Shroud to delineate traumatic findings and to interpret the cause and the results of those injuries, as well as to present the most reasonable and probable cause for the death of the individual whose image is present on the Shroud of Turin.

The first step in such an examination is to document physical features of the victim as accurately as possible. In the case of the image on the Shroud, it can be stated that the deceased person is and adult male measuring 71 inches from crown to heel and weighing an estimated 175 pounds. The body structure is anatomically normal, representing a well-developed and well-nourished individual with clearly identifiable head, trunk, and extremities. The body appears to be in a state of rigor mortis which is evidenced by an overall stiffness as well as specific alterations in the appearance of the lower extremities from the posterior aspect.”

Arrangement of the legs indicates a person who was crucified:

“The imprint of the right calf is much more distinct than that of the left indicating that at the time of death the left leg was rotated in such a way that the sole of the left foot rested on the ventral surface of the right foot with resultant slight flexion of the left knee. That position was maintained after rigor mortis had developed.

After an overall inspection and description of the body image, the pathologist continues his examination in a sequential fashion beginning with the head and progressing to the feet. He will note that the deceased had long hair, which on the posterior image appears to be fashioned into a pigtail or braid type configuration. There also is a short beard which is forked in the middle.”

Injuries on the scalp consistent with the crown of thorns:

“In the frontal view, a ring of puncture tracks is noted to involve the scalp. One of these has the configuration of a letter “3”. Blood has issued from these punctures into the hair and onto the skin of the forehead. The dorsal view shows that the puncture wounds extend around the occipital portion of the scalp in the manner of a crown. The direction of the blood flow, both anterior and posterior, is downward. In the midline of the forehead is a square imprint giving the appearance of an object resting on the skin.”

John 19:2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.

Forensic Report: Indications of severe facial beating.

“There is a distinct abrasion at the tip of the nose and the right cheek is distinctly swollen as compared with the left cheek. Both eyes appear to be closed, but on very close inspection, rounded foreign objects can be noted on the imprint in the area of the right and left eyes.”[17]

John 19:3 Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands.

Isaiah 52:14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;

Note: The two objects that are seen covering the eyes of this crucified man are images from coins that were called the “Lepton,” which were produced under the rulership of Pontius Pilate, from 29 B.C. to 36 A.D.[18] Upon microscopic examination of the cloth from the Shroud, a “staff” and the letters U. C. A. I. are seen imprinted over the right eye on this burial cloth, apparently transferred from the image that had been forged into the coin. In 1981 at the British Museum, two coins were discovered, from the time period of Pontius Pilate, in which the letters U. C. A. I. and the staff matched the image on the shroud of Turin, leaving no doubt that the image found on the Shroud of Turin came from one of these coins made during the rule of Pilate. One of the researchers for the Shroud who wrote extensively on the authenticity of the coin images found on the Shroud, is Dr. Alan Whanger, who said this regarding the coin images:

“Not only does the image of the coin over the right eye and its congruence with the lepton that was owned by Father Filas help date the Shroud image with incredible accuracy to the first century and locate its origin in Palestine/Israel, but it serves an important function of providing evidence for the nature of the image formation. The pattern of the image on the Shroud is that which one would expect from electron corona discharge from the surface of the coin, which we feel is a die mate of the one that actually formed the image. This means that the image is formed in part by a high energy discharge that flows over the surface of all objects in the field and is discharged from irregular surfaces and high points on those objects. As has been shown by experimentation, highly accurate and detailed images can be formed on linen and film by means of corona discharge from coins, flowers, leather, and other materials. These images, in contrast to those produced by various artistic techniques, are very similar to those actually seen on the Shroud.”[19]

[20]

The letters from this coin that are embedded into the cloth of the Shroud are only 1/32nd of an inch high; being so small, it is impossible that they were painted or dyed into the cloth. All of these facts, are empirical evidence for the date of the shroud originating from Pilate’s rulership, and they are a certain confirmation that this Shroud did in fact cover Jesus of Nazareth after His death and during His resurrection. As this chapter progresses, I will present to you scientific evidence which proves the images observed on the Shroud were made by a supernatural process that is unknown by scientists today and cannot be reproduced by any known imaging process that is available anywhere.

Chest wound indicated piercing of the heart by a sharp object:

“Upon examining the chest, the pathologist notes a large blood stain over the right pectoral area Close examination shows a variance in intensity of the stain consistent with the presence of two types of fluid, one comprised of blood, and the other resembling water. There is distinct evidence of a gravitational effect on this stain with the blood flowing downward and without spatter of other evidence of the projectile activity which would be expected from blood issuing from a functional arterial source. This wound has all the characteristics of a postmortem type flow of blood from a body cavity or from an organ such as the heart. At the upper plane of the wound is an ovoid skin defect which is characteristic of a penetrating track produced by a sharp puncturing instrument.”

John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.

Chest indicates severe difficulty in breathing:

“There seems to be an increase in the anteroposterior diameter of the chest due to bilateral expansion. The abdomen is flat, and the right and left arms are crossed over the mid and lower abdomen. The genitalia cannot be identified.”

The hands were pierced, blood flow indicates arms were extended:

“By examination of the arms, forearms, wrists, and hands, the pathologist notes that the left hand overlies the right wrist On the left wrist area is a distinct puncture-type injury which has two projecting rivulets derived from a central source and separated by about a 10 degree angle. As it appears in the image, the rivulets extend in a horizontal direction. The pathologist realizes that this blood flow could not have happened with the arms in the position as he sees them during his examination, and he must reconstruct the position of the arms in such a way as to place them where they would have to be to account for gravity in the direction of the blood flow. His calculations to that effect would indicate that the arms would have to be outstretched upward at about a 65 degree angle with the horizontal. The pathologist observes that there are blood flows which extend in a direction from wrists toward elbows on the right and left forearms. These flows can be readily accounted for my the position of the arms which he has just determined.”

Psalms 22:16 … They pierced My hands and My feet.

Indications of piercing at the wrists caused medial nerve damage:

“As he examines the fingers, he notes that both the right and left hands have left imprints of only four fingers. The thumbs are not clearly obvious. This would suggest to the pathologist that there has been some damage to a nerve which would result in flexion of the thumb toward the palm.”

Both feet were pierced with a single object:

“As he examines the lower extremities, the medical examiner derives most of his information from the posterior imprint of the body. He notes that there is a reasonably clear outline of the right foot made by the sole of that foot having been covered with blood and leaving an imprint which reflects the heal as well as the toes. The left foot imprint is less clear and it is also noticeable that the left calf imprint is unclear. This supports the opinion that the left leg had been rotated and crossed over the right instep in such a way that an incomplete foot print was formed. In the center of the right foot imprint, a definite punctate defect can be noted. This puncture is consistent with an object having penetrated the structures of the feet, and from the position of the feet the conclusion would be reasonable that the same object penetrated both feet after the left foot had been placed over the right.”

The torso shows signs of severe beating, with an imprint of the device used:

“As the back image is examined, it becomes quite clear that there is a series of traumatic injuries which extend from the shoulder areas to the lower portion of the back, the buttocks, and the backs of the calves. These images are bifid and appear to have been made by some type of object applied as a whip, leaving dumbbell-shaped imprints in the skin from which blood has issued. The direction of the injuries is from lateral toward medial and downward suggesting that the whip was applied by someone standing behind the individual.”

John 19:1 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.

Indications that a heavy beam of wood was carried on the shoulders:

“An interesting finding is noted over the shoulder blade area on the right and left sides. This consists of an abrasion or denuding of the skin surfaces, consistent with a heavy object, like a beam. Resting over the shoulder blades and producing a rubbing effect on the skin surfaces.”

John 19:16-18 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away. And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him.

Cause of death: Crucifixion

“With this information available to him, the forensic pathologist can come to a reasonable conclusion as to the circumstances of death, including the posture of the deceased at the time the injuries were incurred. Chronologically, the whip like injuries to the back would have occurred earlier than other injuries which the pathologist has found. The individual would have been upright and with his arms above his head at the time the whipping occurred since no whip marks are found on the upper extremities.

The position of the puncture defects in the wrist, coupled with the blood flow towards the elbows, and also associated with the punctures of the feet, permit the pathologist to conclude that the victim was in an upright position with his arms extended when the blood flow took place. A crucifixion type posture would be the most plausible explanation for these findings.”

Psalms 22:17 I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.

The heart had ruptured:

“The wound in the right side, since is comprised of both blood and non-blood components, suggests to the forensic pathologist that the puncturing instrument released a watery type fluid from the body cavities as well as blood from the heart area. One potential consideration would be that there was fluid in the chest cavity which was released by the penetrating instrument and this was followed by blood issuing from an area as the result of the heart being perforated.”

Psalms 22:14 … My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me.

Final determination that the deceased is Jesus Christ:

“It is the ultimate responsibility of the medical examiner to confirm by whatever means are available to him the identity of the deceased, as well as to determine the manner of this death. In the case of Man on the Shroud, the forensic pathologist will have information relative to the circumstances of death by crucifixion which he can support by his anatomic findings. He will be aware that the individual whose image is depicted on the cloth has undergone puncture injuries to his wrists and feet, puncture injuries to his head, multiple traumatic whip-like injuries to his back and postmortem puncture injury to his chest area which has released both blood and a water type of fluid. From this data, it is not an unreasonable conclusion for the forensic pathologist to determine that only one person historically has undergone this sequence of events. That person in Jesus Christ.”

John 19:35-36 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled

Cause of death: Severe blood loss, asphyxia

“As far as the mechanism of death is concerned, a detailed study of the Shroud imprint and the blood stains, coupled with a basic understanding of the physical and physiological changes in the body that take place during crucifixion, suggests strongly that the decedent had undergone postural asphyxia as the result of his position during the crucifixion episode. There is also evidence of severe blood loss from the skin wounds as well as fluid accumulation in the chest cavities related to terminal cardio-respiratory failure.”

Psalms 22:14-15 I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.

The above findings by a Forensic Pathologic, with over 50 years of experience, was confirmed by many others with similar credentials.

Dr. Frederick Zugibe – in 1998, also a medical examiner, conducted hundreds of studies using volunteers suspended from a cross. His conclusions are published in his book, “The Crucifixion of Jesus.[21]

Professor Pierluigi Baima Bollone – in 2001, professor of forensic medicine in Turin, Italy. In his opinion, the forensic wounds and bloodstains indicated on the image of the Shroud of Turin are consistent with a man who was beaten and crucified, such as Jesus of Nazareth.[22]

Professor Giulio Fanti – in 2010, a professor of mechanical measurements, concluded that the images of the Shroud of Turin was used to wrap the body of a man who was apparently crucified.[23]

The Shroud contains an image unique in all of mankind:

The Image on the Shroud of Turin cannot be duplicated by any other photographic or other means known to man.

John Jackson, Pete Schmacher, and Eric Jumper conducted an extensive investigation of the Shroud of Turin in 1976. Using state of the art equipment of that day called a VP8 Image Analyzer that had been developed for NASA to create three-dimensional images of the moon, they found that the image on the Shroud of Turin was a three-dimensional image. Despite their efforts, none of the researchers at that time, or any time since, have been able to reproduce an image like the one on the Shroud of Turin.[24]

“The Shroud of Turin induces a result through photographic imaging that is unique, compared to all other photographic results taken from other objects of the same acknowledged period as the Shroud, of prior periods, and to the present day. It is the ‘data’ existing on the Shroud of Turin, which induces the unique photographic results. Therefore, the Shroud image, itself, is unlike any other object or image known to exist.”

The Shroud image induces a response in the isometric display of a VP-8 Image Analyzer that is unique. Each point of the Shroud body image appears at a proper “elevation”. Is this due to the distance the cloth was from a body inside it? Is this due to the density of the human body at various points in the anatomy? Is it a result of radiant energy? These questions cannot be answered by the VP-8 Image Analyzer. However, the related theories can be rightfully posed. The isometric results are, somehow, three-dimensional in nature. The displayed result is only possible by the information (“data”) contained in the image of the Shroud of Turin. No other known image produces these same results.

If one considers the Shroud image to be “a work of art” of some type, then one must consider how and why an artist would embed three-dimensional information in the gray shading of an image. In fact, no means of viewing this property of the image would be available for at least 650 years after it was done. One would have to ask, (assuming this is a “natural result” in some style or type of art), “Why isn’t this result obtained in the analysis of other works?” Or, if this is a unique work, “Why would the artist make only one such work requiring such special skills and talent, and not pass the technique along to others?” How could the artist control the quality of the work when the artist could not “see” gray scale as elevation? Did the artist predict the outcome before the outcome could be defined? Would an artist produce this work before the device to show the results was invented?”[25]

Conclusion: The Shroud of Turin is the Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ

“Therefore, it is most unlikely that the Shroud of Turin is a work of fabrication, or “trickery”, or “forgery”, of any type. No method, no style, and no artistic skills, are known to exist, that can produce images that will induce the same photographic and photogrammetric results as the Shroud image induces. This comparison includes photographic and photogrammetric studies of bas-reliefs, paintings, sculptures, etchings, and other forms of art. The Shroud image exhibits some properties of photographic negatives, some properties of body frame (skeletal, internal) imaging, and some properties of three-dimensional gray-scale encoding.

It is “none of these”, and represents portions of “all of these”, and more. Much more will be uncovered in future investigations. The Shroud of Turin is, in my opinion and belief, the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.”[26]

The Death Certificate of Jesus of Nazareth Discovered:

During a detailed examination of the Shroud of Turin in 1978, Dr. Barbara Frale discovered startling evidence of a certificate of death that had been included on the shroud. Other scholars who have examined the words on the shroud have described the writing as a later addition attached to the shroud by the church, perhaps hundreds of years later. Dr. Frale disputes this suggestion as being impossible, as the Christian church of that time would not have referred to Jesus as “the Nazarene”; they would have called Him “the Son of God.” The term “Nazarene” would indicate that Jesus was only a man who had originated from Nazareth in Israel. The term “Nazarene” came from the description that the Romans gave to Jesus and was likely included in His burial cloth to denote who had been crucified under their orders. Added to this fact, the descriptions on the cloth include the name of “Tiberius” and “Pilate,” who were the authorities in power at that time, being written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. This is substantial evidence of inclusion by the Roman authority at that period of history, not the church.

We should remember that Pilate ordered similar language attached to Jesus’ cross when He was put to death.

John 19:19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

In an interview conducted with Dr. Frale, she made the following comments regarding the inscriptions that have been discovered on the Shroud of Turin:

“The inscriptions are found around the face of the man of the Shroud. They cannot be seen through highly sophisticated equipment. The inscriptions are highly reminiscent of graffiti found in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, and in papyri from the era of Tiberius, the man who was emperor of Rome when Jesus was crucified.

Those inscriptions are called ‘traces of transferred writing’, that is, traces of writing impressed on an object (in our case the Shroud) that has been in contact with a written text. The writing is in Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Aramaic. Thanks to computerized reading systems, those traces have been deciphered.

Back in 1978 Piero Ugolotti, a chemist, had noted that on the negative of a photo of the Shroud strange signs could be seen that looked like letters. He turned to an expert in ancient languages, Aldo Marastoni, a renowned Latinist, and Marastoni confirmed the existence of Greek and Latin inscriptions all around the face on the Shroud. They are words of the type: ‘Nazarènos’ and ‘in nece (m)’, a Latin expression meaning ‘to death’. On the forehead there are the letters IBEP, which suggests the Greek word for Tiberius (TIBEPIO), as well as other words in Hebrew.”[27]

The complete text of this death certificate reads:

“In the year 16 of the reign of the Emperor Tiberius Jesus the Nazarene, taken down in the early evening after having been condemned to death by a Roman judge because he was found guilty by a Hebrew authority, is hereby sent for burial with the obligation of being consigned to his family only after one full year.”[28]

[29]

1. Greek: Jesus, “I esou s”)
2. Greek: Nazarene, “Nazarenos”, quì “NNazarennos”
3. Greek: Piercings “o psékia tho”
4. Latin: Murder, in/nece m”
5. Greek: I Follow, “Io eseguo, “pez o”
6. Greek: Tiberius, “T iber iou”)
7. Greek: Year 16, “L IS” (L=Anno; I=10; S=6)
8. Latin: Convicted/Guilty [Condannato] perché colpevole (in ebraico “mw ms” oppure “ky ms”)
9.Latin: the spring month of the Jewish calendar, the Passover period, Adar (in rosso sotto “NNazarennos”: in ebraico, è il mese primaverile del Calendario ebraico, periodo della Pasqua ebraica.[30]

According to Dr. Frale, under correct burial procedure for the Jews at the time that Jesus was crucified, the Romans would only allow the family to take possession of the body of their loved one after a period of one year had passed. As a result of this requirement, a death certificate was attached to the burial shroud near the face, to properly identify the body for retrieval by the family after the year had passed.

Even the date on the shroud given for the time of death, under Tiberius Caesar, who became emperor after the death of Octavian Augustus in 14 A.D., is correctly indicated as the 16th year of Tiberius’ reign. This is confirmation of the gospel account of the New Testament for the death of Jesus on Nisan (April) 14, 32 A.D.[31]

Jesus’ death and Resurrection were predicted by over 400 Old Testament prophecies:

1 Corinthians 15:3 (Paul writing) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…

Paul writes that “Christ died according to the scriptures.” What scriptures was he speaking of? The prophecies of the Old Testament. It is by these remarkable predictions that God gave us, in advance of Jesus appearance on earth, that we can verify His claim to be the Messiah. These men were seeking to tell the true story of one person who would arrive on earth and be brutally killed on a cross, and and then rise from the dead on the third day.

We have; not only the New Testament accounts that Jesus rose from the dead, we also have a 1,500 year old record of the Old Testament, in which the resurrection was predicted in precise detail (beginning with the chapter: The Savior). In every one of these prophecies, Jesus fulfilled them, precisely as they were written. This is the purpose and subject of this book: to demonstrate the Old Testament prophecies declared by God; and specifically how the record of the New Testament reveals that Jesus fulfilled each one of these predictions.

We also have in our possession, a great number of secular records from history, other than the New Testament; which further validate that Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead. I have included a substantial record of these extra-biblical sources in the following chapter: Historical Evidence.

Paul wrote to the church at Corinth that our central hope of eternal life is based on the fact that Jesus did raise from the dead. If He had not, then all of us would still be in our sins; and we would have no hope of eternal life.

1 Corinthians 15:3-7 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the e apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. (NLT)

1 Corinthians 15:17-18 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! (NLT)

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is an established fact of history. No person should have any hesitancy in accepting the gospel narrative of this event as factual, reliable, and certain. In this chapter we also see that there is a substantial scientific confirmation of Jesus Death and Resurrection, in the Shroud of Turin. This cloth that covered the body of a crucified man, has been identified as bearing the image of the crucified Jesus of Nazareth. Many of the world’s leading authorities have examined the evidence that remains on the Shroud and have concluded that there is a high probability that no other person in history could be represented by the evidence that is presented by the Shroud of Turin; Dr. Robert Bucklin, a world-renown forensic pathologist and medical examiner; Dr. Frederick Zugibe, medical examiner; Pierluigi Baima Bollone, professor of forensic medicine in Turin, Italy; Giulio Fanti, professor of mechanical measurements; Dr. Barbara Frale; as well as, Dr. John Jackson, Pete Schmacher, and Eric Jumper, of NASA.

If the resurrection of Jesus Christ did not take place, then a substantial portion of Human history would have to be rewritten. This singular event has changed more people, cultures, nations, and governments, than any other event in the history of the world. Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is no salvation, and none of us would have the certain hope of eternal life.


[1] “Anno Domini”. Merriam Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. 2003. Retrieved 2011-10-04. “Etymology: Medieval Latin, in the year of the Lord”
Online Etymology Dictionary”. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
Blackburn & Holford-Strevens 2003, p. 782 “since AD stands for anno Domini, ‘in the year of (Our) Lord’.”
[2] 1. The Global Religious Landscape | Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project.
2. The CIA’s World Factbook gives the population as 7,021,836,029 (July 2012 est.) and the distribution of religions as Christian 31.59% (of which Roman Catholic 18.85%, Protestant 8.15%, Orthodox 4.96%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 25.2%, Hindu 15.0%, Buddhist 7.1%, Sikh 0.35%, Jewish 0.2%, Baha’i 0.11%, other religions 10.95%, non-religious 9.66%, atheists 2.01%. (2010 est.)
[3] Expositor’s Bible Commentary, on Mark 16:3
[4] J. Jackson et al., “Correlation of image intensity on the Turin Shroud with the 3-D structure of a human body shape”, Applied Optics, vol. 23, n. 14, 15 July 1984, pp. 2244–2270
[5] Bernard Ruffin (1999). The Shroud of Turin. Our Sunday Visitor. p. 14. ISBN 0-87973-617-8
[6] Damon, P. E.; D. J. Donahue, B. H. Gore, A. L. Hatheway, A. J. T. Jull, T. W. Linick, P. J. Sercel, L. J. Toolin, C. R. Bronk, E. T. Hall, R. E. M. Hedges, R. Housley, I. A. Law, C. Perry, G. Bonani, S. Trumbore, W. Woelfli, J. C. Ambers, S. G. E. Bowman, M. N. Leese, M. S. Tite (1989-02). “Radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin”. Nature 337 (6208): 611–615. doi:10.1038/337611a0. Retrieved 2007-11-18.
[7] Busson, P. – Letter – Sampling error? – Nature, Vol. 352, July 18, 1991, p. 187.
John L. Brown, “Microscopical Investigation of Selected Raes Threads From the Shroud of Turin”Article (2005)
Robert Villarreal, “Analytical Results On Thread Samples Taken From The Raes Sampling Area (Corner) Of The Shroud Cloth” Abstract (2008)
[8] 1. Studies on the radiocarbon sample from the shroud of turin Raymond N. Rogers, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of California, 1961 Cumbres Patio, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA, Received 14 April 2004; received in revised form 14 April 2004; accepted 12 September 2004
2. B. Hochberg, Handspinner’s Handbook, Windham Center, Norwalk, CT, 1980, pp. 1–4.
[9] Ibid, Ray Rogers Studies on the radiocarbon sample from the Shroud of Turin.
[10] See Discovery Channel’s “Unwrapping the shroud: new evidence” Re-Opens One Of Christianity’s Greatest Mysteries
[11] Ibid.
[12] 1. Bernard Ruffin (1999). The Shroud of Turin. Our Sunday Visitor. p. 14. ISBN 0-87973-617-8.
2. John Beldon Scott (2003). Architecture for the shroud: relic and ritual in Turin. University of Chicago Press. p. 302. ISBN 0-226-74316-0.
[13] Image of the Shroud of Turin is Public Domain, Illustration by Rob Robinson
[14] J. Jackson et al., “Correlation of image intensity on the Turin Shroud with the 3-D structure of a human body shape”, Applied Optics, vol. 23, n. 14, 15 July 1984, pp. 2244–2270
[15] A. Belyakov, “Prospettive di ricerca in Russia sulla Sindone di Torino”, Atti del convegno di San Felice Circeo (LT) 24–25 agosto 1996, pp. 19–24
[16] An Autopsy on the Man of the Shroud by Robert Bucklin, M.D., J.D. Robert Bucklin “The Shroud of Turin: a Pathologist’s Viewpoint”, Legal Medicine Annual, 1982 ; Frederick Zugibe, The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry, 2nd edition, M. Evans Publ., 2005, ISBN 1-59077-070-6
[17] An Autopsy on the Man of the Shroud by Robert Bucklin, M.D., J.D.
Robert Bucklin “The Shroud of Turin: a Pathologist’s Viewpoint”, Legal Medicine Annual, 1982 ; Frederick Zugibe, The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry, 2nd edition, M. Evans Publ., 2005, ISBN 1-59077-070-6
[18] Lepton. Judaea, Pontus Pilate, procurator under Tiberius at the time of the Crucifixtion of Christ, AE lepton, (1.66g) TIBEPOY KAICAP Lituus. / Wreath. Site: http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/greece/judaea/pontius_pilate/t.html
[19] 1. Mary & Alan Whanger, The Shroud of Turin An Adventure of Discovery, Providence House Publishers, Franklin, TN, 1998.
2. Francis L. Filas, The Dating of the Shroud of Turin from
Coins of Pontius Pilate, 2d ed., Youngtown, AZ, Cogan Productions, 1982.
3. Robert M. Haralick, Analysis of Digital Images of the Shroud
of Turin, Blacksburg, VA, privately printed at Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University, 1983.
4. Alan D. Whanger and Mary Whanger, Polarized image overlay technique: a new image comparison method and its applications, in Applied Optics, Vol. 24 No. 6, 15 March 1985
“Two coins found on the eyelids of the corpse of the man of the Shroud began with electronic processing of the Shroud’s image made by Prof. Tamburelli at the end of the 70’s, and with the publishing of an article, and afterwards a book, by the American Jesuit Professor Francis Filas . After having distinguished what seemed to be four letters “UCAI” near the arch of the man of the Shroud’s eyebrows, Filas and the Italian numismatics expert Mario Moroni identified these as part of the inscription of a lepton coin minted in 29 AD during Pontius Pilate’s governorshup of Judaea. “UCAI” was part of “TIBEPIOU CAICAPOC.”
[20] Illustration by Rob Robinson from the public domain images of the Shroud of Turin and the Lepton coins.
[21] Frederick Zugibe, The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Forensic Inquiry, M.Evans Publ., 2005, ISBN 1-59077-070-6
[22] Pierluigi Baima Bollone, “Interpreting the Image on the Shroud”, in Gian Maria Zaccone, Le due facce della Sindone. Pellegrini e scienziati alla ricerca di un volto, Torino, ODPF, 2001, pp. 119–12
[23] G. Fanti, R. Basso, G. Bianchini, Turin Shroud: Compatibility Between a Digitized Body Image and a Computerized Anthropomorphous Manikin, Journal of Imaging Science and Technology – September/October 2010 – Volume 54, Issue 5, pp. 050503-(8
[24] Paper by Pete Schumacher in English.http://shroudnm.com/docs/1999-05-Photogrammetric-Responses-from-the-Shroud-of-Turin.pdf
[25] Photogrammetric Responses From
The Shroud of Turin Peter M. Schumacher
[26] Ibid.
[27] http://www.saintanthonyofpadua.net/messaggero/pagina_stampa.asp?R=&ID=485
[28] Owen, Richard (21 November 2009). “Death certificate is imprinted on the Shroud of Turin, says Vatican scholar”. The Times.
[29] Image of the Shroud of Turin is public domain. Annotations on the Shroud were made by Dr. Barbara Frale.
[30] From the annotations of Dr. Barbara Frale in her examination of the death certificate of the Shroud of Turin.
[31] Owen, Richard (21 November 2009). “Death certificate is imprinted on the Shroud of Turin, says Vatican scholar”. The Times. Retrieved 24 October 2010