|Agnus Dei Presents!|
|Did the Centurion
Help to Bury Jesus?
Some are good and others lead down the wrong pathway.
But they are all there for us — to take or to ignore.
Almost 2,000 years ago, one person made a connection.
It took him from the wrong pathway and placed him on the way to home.
Unlike protest-ants who get so upset over whether or not a story is in the Bible, we will take the connection laid out for us in Sacred Tradition.
In this regard, we don’t care if the name of the person is accurate or symbolic — the key is the lesson.
The lesson taught by a centurion who knew to take the connection home.
According to Sacred Tradition, his name is Longinus. The very man who took his lance and pierced the Sacred Heart of Christ as His Body stretched out limp upon the Cross.
Up unto that moment, Longinus did not have a place in Heaven.
One can argue endlessly over whether or not his action was of his own choice; it is obvious that Divine Providence was involved. For with the piercing of Jesus’ Heart, Blood and Water as a Fountain of Mercy poured out for poor sinners throughout all time.
But unlike the Good Thief — known in Sacred Tradition as St. Dismas — St. Longinus would not find himself in Paradise that day.
While modern “scholarship” considers the story of the centurion as “untrustworthy,” we find abundant evidence for its Truth.
The problem is how much faith a person has in an omnipotent God who does not allow anything to happen by “accident” when it comes to His Son on His Cross.
As part of the Sacred Tradition story — and it is not “legend,” as that Latin word, which means “to read,” was specifically corrupted by one Martin Luther who did not want “to read,” believe and have faith in the stories of the Saints — Longinus could not see very well in one eye.
When the centurion pierced the Heart of our Savior on the Cross, it was then that some of the Blood and Water struck the Roman solider who was instantaneously cured! Is there anyone who believes in Jesus who could not comprehend the Truth of such a miracle?
We find further evidence for the Truth of this event in connections: connections involving the Shroud of Turin, the Sudario (the linen cloth about our Savior’s head) and the miracle of Lanciano.
Again, as many may know, Lanciano is named after the centurion’s lance, a town in Italy where — as a doubting priest upheld the Consecrated Host — a Eucharistic miracle took place in 700 A.D.
Scientists in 1970 were allowed to examine that Host, which still miraculously resides in Lanciano today, and discovered that, indeed, the unleavened Bread had become myocardium — Heart tissue! Was it not the Heart of Christ that the centurion had pierced with his lance?
And the Blood that issued from the Sacred Host was human — type AB, the world’s rarest blood! Less than 3.6 percent of the 6 billion-plus people on this planet have AB blood, and while they are scattered around the world, the vast majority of those with this blood type live in the environs of a place called Palestine!
What is the connection to this with the Shroud and Sudario? Both linen cloths have also proven to contain human blood — type AB! Yet, the two linens have been separated from each other for 2,000 years — one cloth residing in Italy after a long journey through the Orient (the Shroud), and the other in a reliquary in Spain, after an equally long journey through Northern Africa.
And neither burial linens have ever been in the vicinity of Lanciano nor touched to the miraculous Host.
What are the “chances” that three 1st-millennium Sacred objects — associated with the Heart and Blood of Christ — would all bare the same scientific information in the late
They are, of course, connections.
Connections to the Truth and miracles of our God.
A God, who upon healing the centurion, would then allow us to make perfect logical sense of why a Roman soldier, after trying to ensure Jesus was dead, would then cry out: “Indeed, this was the Son of God!” Matthew 27:54.
But is that the entire story — all that there is to the “connection” of the centurion, who, according to Sacred Tradition, will later lose his life for his faith in Christ?
We believe the evidence clearly shows there is more — much more.
Let us not forget that the centurion’s story may have begun in the governor’s mansion before Pontius Pilate.
With Joseph of Arimathea pleading for the Body of Christ from a bewildered administrator — “But Pilate wondered that He should already be dead. And sending for the centurion, he asked him if He were already dead. And when he had understood it by the centurion, he gave the Body to Joseph” (Mark 15:44-45) — was it not the same soldier who accompanied the rich man back to the Cross to ensure the other Romans knew official permission had been granted?
Was this, perhaps, why the centurion humanly thought to pierce the Heart of an already-dead Christ?
Did he not use his lance to ensure what he guaranteed the governor? For the centurion had professed that Jesus did, in fact, expire quickly upon a Cross in just three hours — an event that usually took days in most cases. If this commander had been wrong, the professional soldier’s life would most certainly be forfeited for such a drastic mistake in an extremely political and volatile situation.
A setup by God in His Divine Providence to ensure the Blood and Water gushed forth!
But now the centurion, who could barely see in one eye — or as it has been related in some versions, was actually blind (perhaps, having lost part of his eyesight in battle?) — had his vision restored! The first miracle of the Cross!
And Joseph of Arimathea — as a member of the Sanhedrin, knowing full well the religious laws of Israel he must adhere to in order to bury the dead — is now in need of serious help. For the people of 1st-century Israel believed in a resurrection: that at the end of time God will resurrect mankind for a general judgment. As such, if a Jewish person should spill their blood on the day of their death, it was to be buried with them for the day of resurrection.
The ultra-orthodox in Israel seriously continue this time-honored tradition today.
Did Jesus not spill His Blood the day of His death?
Was it not all over the place?
Does this mean that Joseph of Arimathea got every precious drop of Jesus’ Blood into the Tomb with Him?
Of course not!
But is he, along with John, the Beloved Disciple, and Nicodemus, trying everything they can to ensure as much Blood is placed into the Tomb with our Lord?
There is no other way to express it, except to state, “You better believe it!”
This would be their priority in burying the Lord’s Body that day — not because He is Jesus, but because He is Jewish!
It is why they will wrap a napkin about His head: not only to cover, out of respect, the face of anyone dead, but especially in this instance to capture the Blood oozing from the Crown of Thorns about our Lord’s beaten Face as they await permission to take His Body down from the Cross.
Better to cover the Face of the dead Christ and secure the Blood in a cloth rather than have to sweep the very dirt around the Cross to gather it! And sweep they will! That is why many times, whenever we see old Passion paintings, a broom or sweeping object will be pictured, for even that which helped to secure the blood would, by necessity of religious belief, be placed in the tomb with any victim.
Is this, then, the further “connection” to the centurion?
For it is not just the Blood of Christ on His Body that the disciples would have concerned themselves with, but the Blood that was upon any object as well.
The Cross itself.
Even the centurion’s lance!
How easily protest-ants think that it is nonsense that the Church has secured these relics found by St. Helena under Divine Inspiration when she is shown the Tomb where our Lord once lay.
It is because they do not understand Sacred Tradition; not only the Sacred Traditions of the Church, but the Sacred Traditions of Judaism! For much of this is not found written in the Scriptures.
And so now Joseph of Arimathea has a problem on his hands.
How is he to secure these Sacred objects that touched the Blood of our Lord?
Is it then that he turned to the centurion?
The centurion who not only knew the governor’s command but also was miraculously healed of his bad eyesight?
A soldier who was now, in crying out as the Scriptures attest, “Indeed, this was the Son of God,” among the first Christian converts at the Foot of the Cross?
And what would this professional do?
Would he then, as Joseph requested, assist in ensuring the other soldiers provided any material that touched the Sacred Blood of Christ in His Passion?
Would the centurion not command that the Crossbeam, nails, ladder, pliers, hammer, sponge, Crown of Thorns, etc., and even the very lance that went through our Savior’s side, be placed into the hands of our Lord’s disciples for burial?
And, as they carried the Body the short distance to the Tomb, would the Lord’s followers allow this Precious Blood to continue to spill — even one drop — on the ground?
Or would they place these very objects into the linen burial cloth that covered our Savior’s Body as the men worked feverishly to place Him into the rock-hewn cave before the third star was seen in the sky and the Passover seder began?
We believe we do not need to speculate as to whether these scenarios are true or not.
We believe the Shroud clearly proves it to be as accurate a scenario as anyone can piece together regarding what happened on that Sacred day two millennia ago — for it is a picture based upon the very science of the cloth.
A scenario borne out by an ancient linen cloth still yielding its miraculous secrets.
Secrets revealed to those who believe in connections.
It began with the connection to flowers.
It ends with a connection to a lance.
In their incredible research, sindonlogists Dr. Alan and Mary Whanger have discovered the very images of these natural and Sacred objects in the cloth itself!
Knowing full well the reality of research that proves pollens discovered from plants that only grow in Israel are embedded in the cloth, the Whangers began to notice something far more than just the Image of Christ in the linen as they studied the Shroud.
They began to detect the faint but distinct image of flowers.
Flowers, they discovered to their absolute amazement, that matched the very pollens discovered in the 1970s by Swiss researcher, Dr. Max Frei.
An incredible “connection.”
Unsurprisingly, many critics and skeptics have attacked Frei’s work as “impossible,” claiming no such pollen exists.
They then went on to attack the Whangers and their research.
But they cannot dispute Dr. Avinoam Danin, of the Hebrew University, and Dr. Uri Baruch, of the Israeli Antiquities Authority.
Both scientists have confirmed the discovery of not only the pollens, but the very images of these plants native to Israel on the Shroud of Turin! Plants including one that is a thorn bush, which grows only between the Dead Sea area and Jerusalem! A plant that contains a 2– to 3-inch long spike at maturity! And the pollen from this thorn bush is the most prevalent species found embedded in the Shroud!
The very images of these flowers and objects on the Shroud, Dr. Whanger believes, are a direct result of what science calls a “coronal discharge.”
What possibly could the “coronal discharge” be a result of?
Is it not clear that on a cloth with the Precious Blood of Jesus on it, the only answer — the only connection — is that it is a result of the Resurrection itself?
Light emitting from within the very Body of Christ!
The Sun of Justice as He burst forth from the bonds of death!
And in that Light — in that “coronal discharge” — an illumination of all that surrounded our Savior in His burial cloth at the moment of His Resurrection!
An illumination of flowers placed lovingly around His dead Body by those who stood by Him at the Foot of the Cross!
An illumination of a Crown of Thorns placed mockingly about His head by those who rejected Him as their King!
An illumination of a lance which had pierced through His side by one who did not recognize his own Creator until his soldier’s eyes were opened by a miracle!
An illumination of a Body that rises to die no more!
An illumination of a Face that reaches out across two millennia and asks all, “But whom do you say I AM?” (Luke 9:20)
An illumination of “connections” that clearly show the centurion did, indeed, help to bury Jesus that first Good Friday.
The day when the Lord illuminated the heart and mind of one man who did not even know he was involved in God’s Divine Plan, until Jesus, as He flooded the eye of the centurion, repeated His miracle of the blind Jericho man — a miracle which occurred after the Lord told His disciples the death He was about to face.
A miracle in which our Lord said — as we plead with Him to say to all who choose between connections — “Receive thy sight: thy faith hath made thee whole” Luke 18:42.
May each of us show our unbelieving neighbors the faith He needs for them to make the connection and receive their sight.
And may they, as the Risen Lord commanded “Doubting Thomas,” “be not faithless but believing!” (John 20:27)
© 2004 Agnus Dei Presents!