An afterhours visit to the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem
A high school group, the Senior High Sojourners, from First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa, Oklahoma, visits the museum in the Notre Dame Center. One student writes:
We made our way over to the holographic display of a crucified version of the man imprinted in the shroud that is behind a sheet-covered statue. My Dad explained that the sculpture is the creation —thanks to technology and computer graphics of 3 dimensional proportions of the mysterious man, allowing these technicians to built the body that was super-imposed onto the burial cloth.
As Steve and my Dad removed the draped sheet that was covering a life-sized man- drained of was all light and life. I was completely awestruck, I suddenly felt the need of a chair, for standing seemed quite difficult. I struggled to find my breath. Looking into the face of a man stricken with death– and one of the most torturous sorts. Just soaking him in, all of his lifelessness. For me it wasn’t the usual hollow emptiness of a statue. This was like no other sculpture I’d ever experienced. Because it was that…an experience.
I don’t think that it was simply the interpretations or scientific observations that had been discovered, dissected, and parsed from the shroud. It was more this image, or rather human being, whom I was gazing upon. A man– so emaciated by compassionless pain and forsaken death that to me was a frozen proof of horror and unimaginable sorrow staring me in the face.
Representations of this event of passion moves me, but not in the hands down irrefutable, incomparable way that this Man of the Shroud brought upon me.
An unshakable distraught-ness. A feeling of helplessness, as well as of shame, guilt, mercy and undeserved love washed over me. Regardless of the fact that the man in the shroud could very well just be a man. There was an equal possibility that he could also have been Jesus.
I have been overwhelmed before..but never have I been so emotionally, spiritually, and physically rocked by anything. I will never think of Good (unbelievable) Friday in the same way ever again– It
wasn’t that i didn’t hold a reverence for it before. But there is just some quality or characteristic that was represented in this crucified man’s face and body. a possibility of what He may have looked like– an actual crucified man, or truly the Prince of Peace’s countenance that can never be transferred through any silver screen. I don’t care who the director is.
Tonight was earthshaking of the highest caliber on my Richter Scale.
This night will be forever set apart in my mind.
This one visit makes the research and efforts of so many people all worth it.