Here, in a story with a twist, Barrie Schwortz, the Jewish science photographer assigned to the Shroud of Turin Research Project, believes that the Shroud actually wrapped the body of Jesus. He bases his beliefs on pure science and data "unclouded by media exaggeration and hype."
I am still Jewish, yet I believe the Shroud of Turin is the cloth the man Jesus was wrapped in after He was crucified... That is not meant as a religious statement, but one based on my privileged position of direct involvement with many of the serious Shroud researchers in the world, and a thorough knowledge of the scientific data, unclouded by media exaggeration and hype.
Schwortz adds a great line about a Jew being given this task of observation and belief is "proof of God's sense of humor." :-)
Then, in a more reflective statement, Schwortz says: "God always chooses a Jew to be a messenger."
Now that is something to think about!
Also, this time of year is great for reflection on the Shroud. Especially with Shroud research exploding. New forensic science adds layers to the Shroud story, literally. Recent analysis reveals a second layer face -- a faint image -- on the back of the Shroud.
According to Daniel Porter, a recent Journal of Optics article points to mystery, if not miracle:
The Shroud of Turin images may not the direct result of a miracle, at least not in a traditional sense of the word. But they are not manmade either. These seem to be the contradictory conclusions from an article in the peer-reviewed, scientific Journal of Optics (April 14, 2004) of the Institute of Physics in London: Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolo, researchers at the University of Padua, Italy, discovered a faint image of a second face on the back of the Shroud of Turin.
This supports a hypothesis that the Shroud of Turin's images are the result of a very natural, complex chemical reaction between amines (ammonia derivatives) emerging from a body and saccharides within a carbohydrate residue that covers the fibers of the Shroud of Turin. The color producing chemical process is called a Maillard reaction. This is fully discussed in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, Melanoidins, a journal of the Office for Official Publications of the European Communities (EU, Volume 4, 2003)...
Imagine slicing a human hair lengthwise, from end to end, into 100 long thin slices; each slice one-tenth the width of a single red blood cell. The images on the Shroud of Turin, at their thickest, are this thin. In selective places, an otherwise clear layer of starch fractions and saccharides, a mere 200 to 600 nanometers thick, as thin as the wall of a soap bubble, has undergone a chemical change into a caramel colored substance. Spectral and chemical analysis reveal that the chromophores of the Shroud of Turin's images are complex, conjugated carbon bonds.
Read about it here, the world's best Shroud site.
Also check out Barrie Schwortz's site.
Read the fascinating story of the Shroud, and meditate on the healing wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ. "He was wounded for our transgressions, and by His stripes we are healed."
God bless you all on this Palm Sunday, and Holy Week!