Our last day of our pilgrimage. We went to Notre Dame of Jerusalem Centre for a permanent exhibition – Who is the Man of the Shroud?
Apparently, it’s about the shroud that was imprinted with a man’s body. But who was that man? The question was left to us to answer.
In 1898, the cloth was photographed for the first time. When the picture was developed, the amateur photographer Secondo Pia, discovered that the image on the photographic plate was not a negative, but rather a positive image. If you have used any film to take photographs, you will know this didn’t make any sense. But it did happen. This was known as the ‘scientific history of the Shroud’.
The shroud was photographed again by Giuseppe Enrie in 1931. The same thing happened. Here’s what he took:
Can you believe people used these to whip others? How can one do that? Once violence is released, it cannot be stopped easily. That’s how ugly humans are.
How could one make this kind of thing to torture another person? One would not do that to even an animal!
The priest there asked us what we thought about the man’s expression. Was he in pain? Was he suffering? That was a very good question. Even when we looked at the photograph of the image of the face, no signs of any suffering could be traced. He looked calm and peaceful. Was it because his mission on Earth was done?
Can you believe that? They were so long! I didn’t expect to see this. I wouldn’t have imagined it could be this long! It was not human.
If you are asked, ‘who is Jesus?’ How will you answer this question?
He is the Son of God.
He died for us.
‘Why did he die for us?’
Because we had sins.
‘Don’t we have sins now?’
Yes. It’s good that you are aware of it.
‘Why did he die for us given that we still commit crime?’
Good that you know humans still commit all sorts of crimes. You shouldn’t commit any crime then. By the way, we are talking about sins, not crimes. The latter is governed by ‘worldly’ law while the former is not. But the seven sins will lead us to eventually committing crimes. That’s why we have to stay away from them.
‘So, was it worth it that he died for us?’
Well, if we take a worldly view, no. It was not worth it because we are so stubborn. But we are not God. For Him, it was worth it. So, you see, we are so dear to Him that He sacrificed His only begotten Son for us, the sinners.
‘Was Jesus a real person?’
‘How do you know?’
The Bible says so.
‘The Bible could be made up.’
History could be made up too.
‘So why are you so sure?’
The Bible teaches us many things. Our ‘worldly’ law is also based on the moral values taught in the Bible and those are also Jesus’ teachings.
‘But can Jesus be unreal?’
Do you know Mother Teresa?
‘Yes. But don’t digress.’
In 2,000+ years’ time, people may ask the question, ‘Was Mother Teresa real?’
We will all die. But things we do will not. Our love for other people will pass on. You can question about the existence of certain people but you can’t deny the things that one does for others. If you do good things, those things and the love that comes with them will last, even after you perish.
1 August 2009
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