The History Channel aired the story of the Shroud of Turin Christmas night. It has been an intrigue for at least 10 centuries. Biblically, there is not much revealed about the grave clothes in which Jesus was placed:
John 19:40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
John 20: 5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
***Book of Luke has a similar accounting but excluding the napkin for his head.
In addition to the Shroud of Turin, there is the infamous Sudarium of Oviedo–a linen cloth that evidently was once covering a face of a deceased man. It turns out this Sudarium of Oviedo is an identical match to the face depicted on the Shroud of Turin.
Could it be, the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin, is in fact the burial “linen” of very founder of Christianity?
The Urantia Book, printed in 1955 and purported to be of celestial revelatory origin, describes there was indeed a “face cloth” and also the “fine linen” in which the body was wrapped and placed in Joseph’s tomb. The Urantia Book information is very consistent with today’s researchers and scientists who have examined the Shroud and the Sudarium.
Note in the below Urantia Book information how “the high priest sent the captain of the temple guards to the tomb at half past seven o’clock to remove the grave cloths. The captain wrapped them all up in the linen sheet and threw them over a near-by cliff.”
It is not implausible at all to believe the Shroud and the Sudarium were retrieved from their resting place “over the cliff” and preserved through the generations since. The Urantia Book’s description of how the body of Jesus was a nigh-instantaneous high energy dissolution fits the History Channel’s conclusion that “an explosion of light” embedded Christs’ bodily image onto the shroud and the Sudarium.
Urantia Book Paper 188 1.3 At about half past four o’clock the burial procession of Jesus of Nazareth started from Golgotha for Joseph’s tomb across the way. The body was wrapped in a linen sheet as the four men carried it, followed by the faithful women watchers from Galilee. The mortals who bore the material body of Jesus to the tomb were: Joseph, Nicodemus, John, and the Roman centurion.
188:1.4 They carried the body into the tomb, a chamber about ten feet square, where they hurriedly prepared it for burial. The Jews did not really bury their dead; they actually embalmed them. Joseph and Nicodemus had brought with them large quantities of myrrh and aloes, and they now wrapped the body with bandages saturated with these solutions. When the embalming was completed, they tied a napkin about the face, wrapped the body in a linen sheet, and reverently placed it on a shelf in the tomb.
189:1.2 After the resurrected Jesus emerged from his burial tomb, the body of flesh in which he had lived and wrought on earth for almost thirty-six years was still lying there in the sepulchre niche, undisturbed and wrapped in the linen sheet, just as it had been laid to rest by Joseph and his associates on Friday afternoon. Neither was the stone before the entrance of the tomb in any way disturbed; the seal of Pilate was still unbroken; the soldiers were still on guard. The temple guards had been on continuous duty; the Roman guard had been changed at midnight. None of these watchers suspected that the object of their vigil had risen to a new and higher form of existence, and that the body which they were guarding was now a discarded outer covering which had no further connection with the delivered and resurrected morontia personality of Jesus.
189:4.3 A little before three o’clock this Sunday morning, when the first signs of day began to appear in the east, five of the women started out for the tomb of Jesus. They had prepared an abundance of special embalming lotions, and they carried many linen bandages with them. It was their purpose more thoroughly to give the body of Jesus its death anointing and more carefully to wrap it up with the new bandages.
190:1.2 When the apostles refused to believe the report of the five women who represented that they had seen Jesus and talked with him, Mary Magdalene returned to the tomb, and the others went back to Joseph’s house, where they related their experiences to his daughter and the other women. And the women believed their report. Shortly after six o’clock the daughter of Joseph of Arimathea and the four women who had seen Jesus went over to the home of Nicodemus, where they related all these happenings to Joseph, Nicodemus, David Zebedee, and the other men there assembled. Nicodemus and the others doubted their story, doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead; they conjectured that the Jews had removed the body. Joseph and David were disposed to believe the report, so much so that they hurried out to inspect the tomb, and they found everything just as the women had described. And they were the last to so view the sepulchre, for the high priest sent the captain of the temple guards to the tomb at half past seven o’clock to remove the grave cloths. The captain wrapped them all up in the linen sheet and threw them over a near-by cliff.
Was Jesus’ actual mortal body “resurrected” or was it “immediate dissolution?”
The Urantia Book says he, like every mortal who survives death, was resurrected to a “morontial body” — and that his physical body remained subject to material decadence; except in this case of the Creator himself, the chief of archangels sought–and was granted permission–for the “immediate dissolution” of his mortal body. This can easily explain how his physical form became imprinted upon the Linen Shroud.
Urantia Book–Paper 189 The Material Body of Jesus
(2022.5) 189:2.1 At ten minutes past three o’clock, as the resurrected Jesus fraternized with the assembled morontia personalities from the seven mansion worlds of Satania, the chief of archangels — the angels of the resurrection — approached Gabriel and asked for the mortal body of Jesus. Said the chief of the archangels: “We may not participate in the morontia resurrection of the bestowal experience of Michael our sovereign, but we would have his mortal remains put in our custody for immediate dissolution. We do not propose to employ our technique of dematerialization; we merely wish to invoke the process of accelerated time. It is enough that we have seen the Sovereign live and die on Urantia; the hosts of heaven would be spared the memory of enduring the sight of the slow decay of the human form of the Creator and Upholder of a universe. In the name of the celestial intelligences of all Nebadon, I ask for a mandate giving me the custody of the mortal body of Jesus of Nazareth and empowering us to proceed with its immediate dissolution.”
(2023.1) 189:2.2 And when Gabriel had conferred with the senior Most High of Edentia, the archangel spokesman for the celestial hosts was given permission to make such disposition of the physical remains of Jesus as he might determine.
(2023.2) 189:2.3 After the chief of archangels had been granted this request, he summoned to his assistance many of his fellows, together with a numerous host of the representatives of all orders of celestial personalities, and then, with the aid of the Urantia midwayers, proceeded to take possession of Jesus’ physical body. This body of death was a purely material creation; it was physical and literal; it could not be removed from the tomb as the morontia form of the resurrection had been able to escape the sealed sepulchre. By the aid of certain morontia auxiliary personalities, the morontia form can be made at one time as of the spirit so that it can become indifferent to ordinary matter, while at another time it can become discernible and contactable to material beings, such as the mortals of the realm.
(2023.3) 189:2.4 As they made ready to remove the body of Jesus from the tomb preparatory to according it the dignified and reverent disposal of near-instantaneous dissolution, it was assigned the secondary Urantia midwayers to roll away the stones from the entrance of the tomb. The larger of these two stones was a huge circular affair, much like a millstone, and it moved in a groove chiseled out of the rock, so that it could be rolled back and forth to open or close the tomb. When the watching Jewish guards and the Roman soldiers, in the dim light of the morning, saw this huge stone begin to roll away from the entrance of the tomb, apparently of its own accord — without any visible means to account for such motion — they were seized with fear and panic, and they fled in haste from the scene. The Jews fled to their homes, afterward going back to report these doings to their captain at the temple. The Romans fled to the fortress of Antonia and reported what they had seen to the centurion as soon as he arrived on duty.
(2023.4) 189:2.5 The Jewish leaders began the sordid business of supposedly getting rid of Jesus by offering bribes to the traitorous Judas, and now, when confronted with this embarrassing situation, instead of thinking of punishing the guards who deserted their post, they resorted to bribing these guards and the Roman soldiers. They paid each of these twenty men a sum of money and instructed them to say to all: “While we slept during the nighttime, his disciples came upon us and took away the body.” And the Jewish leaders made solemn promises to the soldiers to defend them before Pilate in case it should ever come to the governor’s knowledge that they had accepted a bribe.
(2023.5) 189:2.6 The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus has been based on the fact of the “empty tomb.” It was indeed a fact that the tomb was empty, but this is not the truth of the resurrection. The tomb was truly empty when the first believers arrived, and this fact, associated with that of the undoubted resurrection of the Master, led to the formulation of a belief which was not true: the teaching that the material and mortal body of Jesus was raised from the grave. Truth having to do with spiritual realities and eternal values cannot always be built up by a combination of apparent facts. Although individual facts may be materially true, it does not follow that the association of a group of facts must necessarily lead to truthful spiritual conclusions.
(2023.6) 189:2.7 The tomb of Joseph was empty, not because the body of Jesus had been rehabilitated or resurrected, but because the celestial hosts had been granted their request to afford it a special and unique dissolution, a return of the “dust to dust,” without the intervention of the delays of time and without the operation of the ordinary and visible processes of mortal decay and material corruption.
(2024.1) 189:2.8 The mortal remains of Jesus underwent the same natural process of elemental disintegration as characterizes all human bodies on earth except that, in point of time, this natural mode of dissolution was greatly accelerated, hastened to that point where it became well-nigh instantaneous.
(2024.2) 189:2.9 The true evidences of the resurrection of Michael are spiritual in nature, albeit this teaching is corroborated by the testimony of many mortals of the realm who met, recognized, and communed with the resurrected morontia Master. He became a part of the personal experience of almost one thousand human beings before he finally took leave of Urantia.