It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified. (Gal 3:1)
This is a sentence from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians. There is no way that Jesus’ body was put on exhibit in Galatia before he was buried. Jesus died and was buried on the same day. Plus Galatia was nine hundred miles from Jerusalem.
So how did the Galatians see Jesus’ body publicly exhibited?
The word translated exhibited in the verse above is the Greek word, προεγράφη or transliterated proegrphee. Say it a couple of times. Remind you of another word? The word means visually portrayed. One translation says “a picture of his death.” It is the where we get our English word photography.
So where did they get a camera?
Now before I answer that… know that I love mystical, unexplained things. This is a weird characteristic for a scientist – an engineer who spent twenty years in the engineering world where being able to explain things was of utmost importance. So knowing that, read on…
The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth kept in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Torino, Italy. I visited it two summers ago. It bears the blood and negative image of a crucified man. There are many disputes – some of them scientific – over whether it is real. I won’t go into them here.
You can see the image in the picture of my necklace — a necklace that holds my treasures from all the pilgrimages/hikes we have been on. If the shroud is real, this is what Jesus would have looked like. Many believe this is the cloth that Jesus was wrapped in at his burial (John 20:6–9) and that the mysterious image was created as some kind of radiation was emitted from his body as he was resurrected from the dead.
Could it be that the Shroud of Turin made a tour stop in Galatia? Could this cloth have been the proegrphee that Paul describes in his letter to the Galatians?
I know, some of you just popped both hands open beside your head in disbelief. But who knows? Why not? What do you think? You can read more about the shroud here.
April’s latest book: St. Francis and the Christian Life: A Disorderly Parable of the Epistle to the Galatians mentions this and many other mysteries and teachings in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians.