Here’s a television recommendation: If you haven’t seen it already, watch the History Channel’s The Real Face of Jesus? this weekend or next. It debuted earlier this week and is absolutely spectacular — part history of the Passion, part history of the Shroud of Turin and part hi-tech CSI. It airs tonight at 8:00 Eastern and at midnight, at 5:00 p.m. Easter Sunday, and at 5:00 p.m. a week from today.
Special effects expert Ray Downing of Studio Macbeth, after in-depth consultations with the world’s foremost experts on the Shroud, used the latest 3-D imaging technology and brought to life what Jesus looked like, both bloodied and not. It is a striking figure and already has affected me: As I have heard Jesus in the Gospel during Mass this Holy Week, I see a figure, a man. It is something that will provide a new perspective. It will increase your faith. I won’t try to explain it for fear of watering down the affect of the documentary, although others have done a decent job (see Mike McManus of the Boston Herald).
Our friends at Real Catholic Blog have put up some good background on the documentary, including a side view of the reconstructed face put out by the studio, as well as some excellent links and a video of Mr. Downing on a Fox News Channel interview.
For the record: Many atheists try to discredit the Shroud of Turin, but the carbon dating on the Shroud, which supposedly disproved its authenticity, was taken from another layer of fabric sewn on the Shroud centuries later. In fact, two compelling pieces of evidence outweigh much skepticism: floral residue and a stitching pattern unique to first century Jerusalem. Also, demagogues say the Catholic Church proclaimed it the burial cloth of Jesus through some dogmatic authority. Not true. The Church only calls it an ancient relic worthy of reverence. (Again, the secularist technique of contrivance to diminish the faithful’s credibility.)
The evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of a first century crucifixion victim. Could it be Jesus? That’s where faith comes in. But even a bit of logic, as this documentary points out, makes the case. Happy Easter!