The Back of Jesus...
Shroud of Turin
The shroud of Turin, the burial cloth that is believed to bear the “negative photographic” image of the crucified Christ, is something I have wondered about since I first heard about. And from what I have read, seen and heard to prove its authenticity, consider me a believer.
But I never saw the under half of the shroud, which showed the back of Jesus, until last night at a friend’s house. It was horrible to behold, and I now believe, more than before, that this is no hoax or medieval attempt to fool the faithful.
The image of that back caused me to put my hand to my mouth in shock, and haunted me so much last night that I could not sleep. The one whose body was represented in that shroud had a back that was torn to pieces by whip that must have been tipped with metal pieces or broken pottery. The flesh was mutilated and cut in a way that caused me to winch and turn away from the screen. It looked like a field that had been dragged over with a deep plow. That man suffered incredibly before He was crucified. In fact, I am told a man was rarely, if ever, scourged with the whip as Jesus was and then crucified! It was one or the other, but not both; even for folks as cruel as the Romans, enough was enough.
I suppose the angst that gripped me for hours was the reality that “the man”, Jesus of Nazareth, suffered incredibly for my sins and my restoration(and the whole of mankind) to His Father. The enormous price He paid! The humiliation, pain, blood, suffering, separation and absolute torture He endured for sins He never imagined, caused me to suffer last night. Too often I think lightly of the things I choose to do that I know are inconsistent with what God wants of me, and quite honestly of what I want with me. Somehow I became a bit more convicted and concerned about the things that I do that I do not want to do and they very things that I hate and keep on doing after seeing that shroud. Like Paul, I feel like a wretched man at times! And yet He chose me, loved me, gave His life for, He is cheering for me, and will never abandon me!
But thinking on the cross and how that Man suffered….that is the thing all Christians must brood upon; maybe we don’t do it enough.
B. B McKinney wrote these words many years ago:
I am satisfied, I am satisfied,
I am satisfied with Jesus,
But the question comes to me,
As I think of Calvary,
Is my Master satisfied with me?
……The question comes to me as I think of calvary…is He “satisfied” with me? For certainty, I am not.