Lisa Taylor (23 Feb 2011)
"To Lewis Brackett re: Shroud"


 

Dear Lewis,

 

     I appreciate your concern about the danger of worshipping icons.  We are told that God sits in judgment of those who do this.  See Romans 1:21-25.  But this does not stop God from using things that may later be worshipped.  Remember the serpent of brass that Moses was directed to put on a pole?  If anyone who had been bitten by a snake looked upon it, he or she would not die.  See Numbers 21:4-9.  This same snake had to be destroyed years later because it became a source of worship.  See 2 Kings 18:4.  There was a reason for the serpent of brass, however.   It was a type of Christ. 

 

     “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”  John 3:14.

 

     Surely, God knew that the brass serpent would become a source of worship.  But that did not stop Him from directing its creation.  Its message outweighed the potential for abuse.

 

     I cannot say for a fact that the Shroud is real or not.  I admit that I am biased.  I have been fascinated by that piece of cloth since the late seventies when I saw an episode about it on a show called In Search Of.  I rather like the idea of the only image of Christ being one taken at the point of His resurrection.

 

     But it really does not matter one way or the other.  If you do not believe that it is authentic – that’s cool.

 

     But I do want to clarify one thing for you.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not the same as the other resurrections in the Bible.  He was no longer subject to death after His resurrection.  Lazarus, Dorcas, Jairus’ daughter, the three widows’ sons raised by Elijah, Elisha, and Jesus all experienced physical death again.

 

     Jesus is different.

 

     “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”  Colossians 1:18-20.

 

     Jesus is the first of those who will never die again.  So, you really cannot compare His resurrection to the others of the Bible.  It was the first time that mortality transformed into immortality.

 

     “For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: Death has been swallowed up in victory.’”  1 Corinthians 15:53-54.

 

     Neither of us knows what exactly happened at the point of the resurrection of Christ.  Could a record of it be scorched onto a burial cloth?  I do not think that you can categorically say “no.”  The same way that I cannot categorically say “yes.”

 

     Faith in Jesus Christ does not require any signs.  But God does provide signs of Himself all over the place.  If the Shroud is a sign, it is a sign of the existence, death and resurrection of Christ.  I doubt very much that Satan is trying to promote that message.

 

     Finally, I do not get the impression that anyone here is actually worshipping the Shroud.  I think that this is one of those issues where it makes no difference what side of the fence you fall on.

 

     Maranatha.

 

                   – Lisa Taylor