There Are Days….


Lyrics

~ ITEM: How the spoon theory helps those suffering chronic pain and fatigue, by
Emily Band

N.B.: Please read the very helpful comment below by Pete B.

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~ YOU KNOW PEOPLE who live with chronic pain, and some of them you don’t even suspect of it. We can look fine; sound fine; but behind the tight smile and the subtle tension in our body lies the reality.

I have been in some form of chronic or recurrent pain & various diseases since I was a teen. It’s gotten worse since then.

Another Life

Any of us get little bruises, cuts, headache, a broken bone, minor surgery, sore throats and the like. We then have a swift return to our normal largely pain-free life. We forget what the pain was even like, glad to be well again.

That’s not the life of someone with chronic pain, disabling, or disease– whatever the cause. Pain is the norm, relief the occasional thing.

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Sometimes, it keeps you awake at night, trying to find a position where the break-through pain does not ruin whatever sleep you can manage (chronic pain can push away deep, restorative, dream-sleep).

Often, it blights an entire day if you don’t manage to distract yourself with video or audio or busy-work, and the sweet embrace of pain-management. It ranges from aches and throbs, stings and stiffness (think the morning after a really hard exercise day) all the way to– well– pondering suicide to just make it stop. And no, I’d never make a nurse or doctor or clinic co-guilty with my self-murder.

Meaning Well

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Loved ones try to sympathize, understand, help us– but after a while, it gets exhausting for them, too. Just Get Better! Man Up! Rub Some Dirt On It! Is It Really That Bad? Get Over Yourself! Might this be a cure? Oh, What Now?!

Or, with the vultures hovering about in the euthanasiac movement: Surely Death Is Better Than This! It’s the very voice of Satan, promising false peace.. for a moment. “Did God really say….?

Be Vewwy Vewwy Quwiet

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People in chronic disabling pain get used to keeping secrets, forcing smiles, not wanting to bother or burden others, keeping everything to themselves– it’s like a double-punishment sundae with a cactus on top: (1) the pain, (2) then the feeling bad for being in pain, and (3) the stress and depression and anxiety and disappointment of a pain-filled life, then– (4) keeping most of it to yourself, and not wanting to be a bother.

Sometimes, it’s just easier not to say anything much.

Blessed Distractions

If it were not for my wife, reading, prayers, my dear dog Dr. Wee Wallace, some blogging and some online friends, and video/ movies/ computer games, my life would be immeasurably more unpleasant than it is. I have blessings.

It’s one of the reasons I object to Social Justice Warriors trying to rewrite, forbid, whitewash and fiddle with pop culture, literature, the gaming world, and whatever else they can toxify with ideology. Or the euthanasiac death-merchants, selling damnation and suicide in one fell swoop.

As I’ve remarked before, for me that’s a lot like asking how much poop I’d like in my soup. None please, and Go The Eff Away, Thank you very much.

Take It Up

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Until I die, apparently I have some suffering to do. Some offering up of prayer, pain, joy, peace, all of it, until all my sins are burnt away, and I am refined in the furnace of eternal love.

This is my cross and burden, to bear with love. This is the cross burning into my flesh, crucifying me to My Saviour, and Him to me.

This is my cross and calling, and I will not shrug it off, or run away, nor seek to set it down until He tells me that it’s time to do so. ~

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Easter: The Re-Creation

Or, But But But… That’s Unpossible!

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~ ITEM: NASA captures a huge pulse of energy coming out of a black hole; Mysterious Object That Came Out of a Black Hole Has Just Been Measured

~ ITEM: Black Hole Has Major Flare – Jet Propulsion Laboratory

~ ITEM: Fulfilled Prophecies about Jesus’ Death & Resurrection – See more info here; also,  Google search.. “prophecies of the resurrection in the old testament”; see also Prophecies of the Resurrection

~ ITEM: Silent Saturday: a tomb, a seal, a guard

~ ITEM: What happened on Easter Sunday?

~ ITEM: The Edicule of the Tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre will be restored for the first time in 200 years.

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IN 2007, CANADIAN astronomers in Binky’s home town were astonished when something apparently came OUT of a black hole. Yup. Escaped.

According to all the postulated ideas of physics, models of what black holes are and how they are supposed to work– as collapsed super-dense star-cores operating like giant cosmic vacuums sucking up everything nearby — including stars, and even light itself– this new observation just makes no sense.

Now, all the rules and assumptions and theories have to be reworked. Once again, reality and what is smashes through our ideas of the universe and what should be.

Could it be that these monstrous whirlpools of interstellar doom called black holes might also be, somehow, giant engines of creation? That’s a comfort, since there’s also thought to be a ginormous black hole eating away at the star-crowded heart of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Black holes may giveth, as well as the more obvious aspects of black holes taketh-ing away.

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Another Mighty Mystery 

An event changing everything, forever– just like the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Easter is more than a day, it’s a whole church season. It’s more than a past event, it’s an omnipresent engine of recreation, new birth, the operating principle of the spiritual universe, the underlying power: Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead on Sunday, April 5th, A.D. 33. It’s not just a past dead written in a book moment, it’s a present and powerful principle of the transformation of all things.

For Christ is risen from the dead: He lives in and through his church & people; in Him, all of creation is groaning and awaiting the remaking of all things into a new heaven and a new earth.

Christ arose, transformed and shining with eternal life— and as he is, we shall be. Jesus was first seen by Mary Magdalen, then by 10 apostles; He appeared on the road to the town of Emmaus to two disciples, walking and talking with them. Later he was seen, the Bible said, by above 500 Christians at once. He preached, comforted, and taught, preparing his apostles for their work, after He departed into heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost-Day.

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The Risen Jesus on the Road To Emmaus

The Heavenly Ground Zero

Where is the tomb of Jesus? St. Helena the Mother of the Emperor Constantine toured the Holy Land in A.D. 326, and founded several churches on various holy sites remembered by the local Christians down the years as the original places where events connected with Jesus took place. Some may be uncertain, but one is not– the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

The Tomb of Jesus has survived burial by the pagan Romans; excavation by the Byzantine Christians with the erection of a glorious basilica and rotunda; the AD 614 invasion by the Persians (destruction of the basilica), waves of Jihad; then a near-total demolition in AD 1009 ordered by Fatimite Khalif al-Hakim, the Caliph of Egypt (one of the indirect causes of the Crusades); then a rebuilding by the Crusaders, then further earthquakes, fire, and the like. The current building and tomb sure doesn’t look like it originally did– but it’s been through a lot over almost twenty centuries.

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Basilica & Rotunda of the Holy Sepulchre, c. AD 335, Romano-Byzantine city of Jerusalem.

The original Tomb was uncovered by the Byzantines, and cut away from the small hill it was cut into. That small building was surrounded by a beautiful rotunda, after which the Dome of the Rock was directly copied from the Rotunda (see ‘Finders, Keepers‘) by a later Muslim ruler over Jerusalem, for fear that the overwhelming beauty of the Christian building would draw Muslims to be converted (or in some cases, to return) to Christianity.

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Edicule (centre), Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem

That rotunda was deliberately demolished, and the very tomb itself beaten with hammers and burnt with fire until only part of the funerary-bed and a low wall remained. The crusaders built a small building around what was left, called ‘The Edicule‘. The remaining original stone of the surviving Tomb of Christ is covered and faced with medieval marble, to protect it.

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Inside the Tomb Of Jesus.

Some Protestants are piously and deeply enamoured of a more ‘original’-looking site designated in the 1860s by a British army colonel, called ‘Gordon’s Tomb‘, but it is of the wrong date, and location. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, shrines and chambers and icons, just doesn’t feel right. Plus, it’s full of Catholics, and exotic Orthodox Christians.

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How do we know that the Church of The Holy Sepulchre really is on the right place where Christ was buried and rose again? It’s simple, really. Some other surrounding tombs: and because these tombs are pointed mostly the wrong way. What-now?

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First Century Jewish-Christian Burial Shafts, Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre.

More specifically, there are many small early 1st century Jewish-Christian tombs near the Tomb of Jesus. They are not oriented according to proper Jewish custom, West to East, the heavenly East the direction from which the Messiah is supposed to come. From their various encircling locations, these ancient tombs all point, like compass needles seeking True North, towards the central Tomb. This is where it all happened.

Says one writer:

“These burial shafts (kokhim) date to the time of Christ’s death and thus attest to some kind of burial ground in the area. Bolen writes, ‘Combined with the evidence from tradition, this church is most likely the true location of the Christ’s death and burial.'”

That is– no need to point East, awaiting Him who is to Come: He has come, he has lived, was crucified and died, and risen again from this very place. This is the new centre of the world, where all things began to be made new; the spot where heaven begins, where new life broke forth from the broken tomb, where angels sat atop the great door-stone and declared “Why do you seek the living amongst the dead? He is not here, he is risen, just as he said.”

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This, then is truly the very place and supernatural heart of the great explosion of love that is the new creation– the hub of the world, as it used to be depicted on ancient Christian maps. Like creation, the Resurrection is both a moment, and an ongoing life-giving divine energy and re-creative process, of the Father indwelling the Son, and the Son indwelling us, and we indwelling him. God is making all things new: a new creation.

By comparison, the unlimited and eternal energy, living power, and unfolding consequences of that first Easter make even a super-massive black hole look like a pop-gun. ~

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Dome Over The Tomb Of Jesus

So saith,

The Binks

Easter III: Thus Saith Hilary

~ WISE WORDS worth pondering, about where we are in 2016, spiritually, and what it all means in the light of Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter. The article is by commentator and freelance writer (and lucky friend of Binks), Miss Hilary White.

Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.

Cheers,

~B~

Hatred, Wisdom and Easter: What’s the Connection?

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Easter II: Preach It, Brother

The Paschal homily of St John Chrysostomos (Archbishop of Constantinople)

This sermon is read at the Paschal Divine Liturgy on the Sunday of the Resurrection in Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches. It was written c. AD 398. Via.

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The Paschal Sermon

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IF ANY MAN be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.

If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward.

If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast.

If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in nowise be deprived thereof.

If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing.

If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.

And he shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts. And he both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering.

Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, hold high festival. You sober and you heedless, honor the day. Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.

Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free.

He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive.

He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: ‘Hell’, said he, ‘was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions.’

It was embittered, for it was abolished.

It was embittered, for it was mocked.

It was embittered, for it was slain.

It was embittered, for it was overthrown.

It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains.

It took a body, and met God face to face.

It took earth, and encountered Heaven.

It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

‘O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory?’

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown.

Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.

Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.

Christ is risen, and life reigns.

Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.

‘For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep’!

To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen! +

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A video version of the sermon.


About The Preacher:

St. John Chrysostom (“Golden Tongue”) was born at Antioch On The Orontes in about the year AD 347, into a military family. St. John spent his early years studying under the finest philosophers and rhetoricians and was ordained a deacon in the year 381 by the bishop of Antioch Saint Meletios. In AD 386 St. John was later ordained a priest by Bishop Flavian, successor to St. Meletios. Beginning in 390, he preached a famous teaching sermon-series on the New Testament, including ninety sermons on Matthew, eighty-eight on John, and thirty-two on Romans, many of which still exist.

Over time, his fame as a holy preacher and teacher grew, and in AD 397 after the death of Archbishop Nektarios of Constantinople— successor to Sainted Gregory the Theologian— Saint John Chrysostom was called from Antioch to be the new Patriarch & Archbishop of Constantinople. His serious and outspoken reforms to purify the church actually led to conflict with the Empress and others, and thus he was banished.

Exiled in AD 404, he fell into ill health. He was moved to Pitius in Abkhazia. There, St. John, after receiving the Holy Eucharist, said, “Glory to God for everything!” He then fell asleep in the Lord on 14 September AD 407, at the age of fifty. +

He Is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!!

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Happy Easter/ Pascha to the whole wide earth!

Death is swallowed up in victory!

YE POEM INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Turn on the following video.

2. Read the poem.

3. Click the link ‘George Herbert’ at the end of the poem for some helpful analysis.

4. For the Vaughan Williams anthem of Herbert’s words, click back there.

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Easter –

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ISE HEART: thy Lord is risen! Sing his praise
Without delayes,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him mayst rise:
That, as his death calcined thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and much more just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art.
The crosse taught all wood to resound his name,
Who bore the same.
His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long:
Or since all music is but three parts vied
And multiplied;
O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

I got me flowers to straw thy way;
I got me boughs off many a tree:
But thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’st thy sweets along with thee.

The sunne arising in the East,
Though he give light, & th’East perfume;
If they should offer to contest
With thy arising, they presume.

Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.

George Herbert, 1633

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Paschal Troparion

(here, in many languages)

Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; let those who hate Him flee from before His face (Ps. 68:1)
As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish; as wax melts before the fire (Ps. 68:2a)
So the sinners will perish before the face of God; but let the righteous be glad (Ps. 68:2b)
This is the day which the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:24)

Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
Bestowing life!

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Even more.

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This is what Christ’s resurrection & Easter Joy feels like in my soul.
Yes, that’s organ and bagpipes. Together.
Muwahahahaha.

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This has been an awesomely incredible BinksCorp Multimedia Experience, Copyright 2016, all rights, trademarks, and all other thingies whereunto appertaining are hereby reserved, and mine, mine. MINE, I tell you! Your life has now been changed forever. You are most welcome. Easter Hugz & Joy! +

 

Holy Saturday

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“Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him.

When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.

On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 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.”

Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.”

(Matthew 27:57-66)

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“It is accomplished!”, he cried from the cross. So it’s not over.. it’s just beginning.

For while the disciples weep, and His body sleeps in the cold silence of the sealed and guarded tomb, the Lord Jesus– Lord of both the dead and the living– He is already up and doing, in the spirit. The soul of Christ is amongst the dead, harvesting the first-fruits of his saving victory. Death cannot hold Him: love is stronger than death.

Long have the dead waited for the Light to arise upon them– Adam and Eve are called first, then the great saints and holy kings and prophets and faithful ones of the Old Covenant.. also John the Baptist, and the good thief on the cross. The gates of heaven are opened, and the rescued throngs pour in behind the victorious Lord. Even now, on Holy Saturday, the great Sabbath, He has begun to make all things new.  (Revelation 21:5)

And He’s not done yet….

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An ancient homily for Holy Saturday

Attributed to Bishop Melito of Sardis, c. AD 180

Something strange is happening — there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the Cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ Christ answered him: ‘And with thy spirit.’ He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: ‘Awake, o sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give thee light.’

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in Hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in Me and I in you; together we form one person and cannot be separated.

For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, Whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on My Face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On My back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See My hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced My side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in Hell. The sword that pierced Me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise. Let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity. +

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More on Holy Saturday meaning & customs.

Poems for Holy Saturday | Lent & Beyond

Holy Saturday – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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So saith,

Teh Binksmeister

Good Friday II: Two Old Cloths

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THERE ARE TWO pieces of cloth– the smaller one closely matching some marks on  the larger one. They have apparently survived 17 years short of 20 centuries; not to mention invasions, Jihad and Crusades, long travel, display, trial, fires, and all the vagaries of time, history, and human frailty.

To the very first people who handed them on, these items were ritually unclean, polluted and polluting, and signs of an accursed, shameful, and unholy death, according to the Jewish Law, the Torah. That these bloody things from a gory execution and death were even handed on, passed down, and venerated in the first place is a strange, remarkable, and mysterious matter in itself.

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One is essentially a large bloody rag with pin-holes in it (above); the other is a 14-foot long piece of the very finest herringbone Egyptian linen, woven for use as a Jewish burial cloth, around the time when Julius Caesar had been dead only a little over 75 years. It’s now kept in Portugal. Other ancient cloth samples have likewise survived the centuries– but these particular two still exist because they were protected and kept safe, and for what they were thought to be.

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The larger cloth was always venerated down the ages, for the indistinct marks of a naked wounded man somehow imprinted as a photographic negative on the cloth itself, thought to be the image of the dead Jesus Christ. In 1898, an Italian photographer Secondo Pia was startled and surprised as he developed his photographic negatives of the longer cloth– he saw a positive image, with incredible details, leaping out at him from the images: a person, in positive, not negative.

The interest and excitement went international. Debate, discussion and study continue to this day.

Now It Is Seen Clearly

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Photographer Secondo Pia, c. 1898

To our modern eyes, these cloths tell a tale so clearly, so contemporary, that our modern forensic science and pathology can give an exact autopsy and cause of death for the dead man who was probably once wrapped in them. The image on the larger cloth is anatomically and medically correct, down to visible bones, blood flow, nerve damage, and other signs of the horrific torture and violence done to this long-ago man.

The man revealed clearly for the first time was tall, well-muscled, and about 5’11”, 185 pounds. The best guess is that average heights in Biblical times in the Holy Land were 5′ 1″ up to as tall as 5′ 5″, so Jesus was tall for his day and age. Average adult male height in 2016 Israel is about 5′ 9″. He had a mid-shoulder short pony-tail.

Via Pia’s photo negatives, previously indistinct marks on the larger cloth were now seen clearly for the first time in 19 centuries– blood-stains, whipping injuries, a large wound on the lower right chest, skinned shoulder and knees, bruised and battered face, broken nose, swollen cheek, torn beard, blood-soaked hair and marked forehead, a dislocated left shoulder, a distended belly, and holes in both wrists and mid-foot.

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Whip marks by a flagrum on a life-sized crucifix modelled after the Shroud of Turin, Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. Christ was likely whipped & later crucified naked. The full cross may be seen here.

Over 230 distinct whip-marks and other lacerations appear on the back and front of the body-image, from chest & shoulder to shin & calf. Most marks are typical of the ancient Roman flagrum whip, a wooden handle with three leather thongs and two lead weights per thong. This flogging alone was almost enough to kill him: it was considered so brutal and potentially deadly that no Roman Citizen was supposed to be whipped this way.

Study And Research

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As increasingly serious and scientific investigations, imaging, and other reports into the two cloths went on through the 20th century, photographic comparisons and overlays of both were done– the blood and pleural fluid stains and many other marks actually overlapped almost exactly. This is a statistically unlikely ‘coincidence’.

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The two ancient cloths, overlapped, into one image.

That is: these two cloths had been used on the same person, the smaller one doubled over and pinned roughly around the dead man’s head, as he hung upright on a Roman cross; the larger wrapped around him from foot to head to foot after a quick washing of the body, which was then wrapped with winding cloths, in a inclined grave bed. The larger cloth is consistent with 1st century Jewish burial customs. Crucially, the shroud-cloth shows no signs or stains of corruption and decay, no blood smears of the body being somehow being buried half-alive, or moved after it was placed in the tomb.

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Despite controversy, certain attention-seeking scientists, and odd theories, a lot of serious peer-reviewed and multi-disciplinary scientific investigations over the last 40 years have been done with the larger cloth– known as The Shroud Of Turin since the 1500s. It has given up many secrets, except one: what is it?

Science can tell what it isn’t (painting, photograph, scorch, or some other artistic technique, or known natural effect), but not what the image on the cloth is, or how it was made. Since science rightly has no experimental categories or laboratory machines which render ‘evidence of God’, or ‘Jesus signs’, or ‘miraculous event’, this is as it should be.

Some scientists speculate that some kind of UV directional radiation flash or intense energy-burst might well have created the image on the Shroud.  We weren’t there.. but the Shroud was. There’s even an app for you to look at the Shroud: Shroud 2.0.

Barrie Schwortz, raised an Orthodox Jew, educating Christians about the Turin Shroud. He created the yuge Shroud.com (see the Latebreaking News page), and he was also part of the 1977-8 STURP Research Team.

Our Abiding Doubts

Still, it’s a possible relic which which only revealed the deepest detail to us– with our tools and experiments and analysis– in our scientific, skeptical, yet spiritually modern seeking age. It’s almost like a God-given sign for OUR age.  If this fact does not move you, perhaps nothing will.

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To simply declare “It’s a fake! A forgery!” is not a statement of fact, nor does it answer the basic question “A fake what?” Or to argue “You only say that because you want it to be genuine!” invites the fair response “Fine… but perhaps you only say that because you want it not to be genuine!” Remember– lots of his enemies saw the miracles and results of miracles performed by Jesus. Note: these hostile eyewitnesses did not dispute that something extremely strange and unusual had happened, only what it meant, and by what power Jesus had performed such signs and wonders.

An Abiding Question

If these two relics are original and authentic, they reveal to us a snapshot of two related moments from Good Friday, Jerusalem, most likely on Friday, April 3, A.D. 33. They show us the image of a body which has been tortured, crucified and killed, but a body which did not decay, and which somehow vanished from the burial cloths leaving a very unusual image on the Shroud, by means yet unknown and undiscovered.

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Jesus never offered invincible proof as to who he was and is, forcing faith and belief in him; he did no undeniable miracles before stadium mobs, nor obeyed the Devil’s suggestion that he leap from the top of the Jerusalem Temple, and drift safely to earth in plain view of the massed crowds. Evidence, likelihood, strong suggestions, a willingness to test by faith and love– only these can take us the rest of the way.

It either is as he said, or not, after all. “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe“, the Risen Jesus says to the no-longer doubting Thomas. To the eyes of faith, the Shroud & Sudarium are transformed from newspaper and internet curiousities into a love letter to our souls, written in his most precious blood.

Me? I believe it’s His, and that He was who He claimed to be: the Son of God Incarnate, the Lord.

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“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Rev. 1:18)

Decisions, Decisions

After pondering the testimony of early eyewitnesses, archaeology and history, the possible relics like the Shroud and Sudarium, the science, the wondering and asking, we must still overcome our pride and resistance to faith, and our tendency to self-deceptive false faith, or else sheer unbelief. It’s a costly sacrifice. It’s a step of faith, from ‘believing about’, to believing IN’.

That is– not irrational faith, not crazy faith, not faith in any old whatnot, on anybody’s say-so, or faith in spite of the facts, evidence, and likelihoods– but believing in Jesus, after He has called us to seek Him, learn of Him, follow Him, then live and die in Him.

It’s all about trust and love, above all evidences or proofs– for has truly He died and really risen again from death; and ascended bodily into heaven to prepare a place for us, that we might live in union with him and all the saved and the saints.

He will only gently ask us, never  force us– to believe and so live in Him, forevermore. ~

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The noble Joseph, when he had taken down Thy most pure Body from the tree, wrapped it in fine linen, and anointed it with spices, and placed it in a new tomb.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

The angel came to the myrrh-bearing women at the tomb and said: “Myrrh is fitting for the dead, but Christ has shown Himself a stranger to corruption.”

Eastern Orthodox Troparion (hymn of the day) of Good Friday

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A blessed Good Friday to you all, and this article is my gift for you–

With much love,

The Binks