The burial clothes of Jesus

John 20, 1-9The Empty Tomb

1Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!" 3So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)


John und Peter on the way to the tomb


John and Peter found the shroud in the empty tomb

According to the four Evangelist Jesus was wrapped in a shroud of linen. Mark said: 59 So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean shroud 60 and put it in his own new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a large stone across the entrance of the tomb and went away. “ (Mt 27, 59). Lukas said: „He then took it down, wrapped it in a shroud and put it in a tomb which was hewn in stone and which had never held a body. (Lk23, 53). Und John said: They took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, following the Jewish burial custom. 41 At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried. “ (Jo 19, 40f). Further evidence of the cloth burial at that time can be found in John 11, 44, as Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead: "And the dead came forth bound with linen-clothes of the feet and hands, and his face wrapped in a veil.


Rize of Lazarus

The discovery of the shroud in mentioned in Mark (Mk 16, 1-8) and Matthew (Mt 28, 1-8) But the angel spoke; and he said to the women, There is no need for you to be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said he would. Come and see the place where he lay, 
Luke writes: "Peter, however, went off to the tomb, running. He bent down and looked in and saw the linen cloths but nothing else; he then went back home, amazed at what had happened.
"(Lk 24, 12).

But John, who was an eyewitness writes: "5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself."(John 20, 5). He looked so linen cloths (probably including grave cloth) and the cloth covered his face (sudarium).

In summary one can state that after the testimony of the Gospels found in the empty grave following:

the cloth to clean the face of Jesus (sudarium)

the shroud (sindone) und

the linen cloth (linteamina)!


tomb in Jerusalem

Bild1_kl02 Bild4_kl02

tomb with stone


inside the tomb

In the Christian world, we are still down at high figures and their public funeral a silk cloth on the face (such as at the funeral of the popular Pope John Paul II in 2005.)


Pope John Paul II

Even today the face of the pope Johannes Paul II was covered with an linen at the burial in 2005

The burial clothes of Jesus are self portraids which he themselves left for us. They are not made by human hands. They bear witness to his death, and of his resurrection. Before I discuss the individual burial clothes, I will briefly give an overview of the three key burial-clothes:

Definition for burial cloth: A piece of cloth used to wrap a body in preparation for burial - otherwise called a shroud.

  • The shroud of Turin became famous to the world after it was first time photographed. It is the most researched subject in the world - nothing has so far been explored so intensively as the famous shroud of Turin, a own branch of science called the SINDONOLOGIE has been developed to dicover the secret of the 4.36 m long and 1.10 m wide shroud.
  • The breath-thin veil, which covered the face of Jesus, has become known as the Volto Santo of Manoppello. It is an icon, an image of Jesus which is not made by human hands (like the shroud of turin). In recent years, the veil became famous because of its mystery apperance, his material and because of the incridable face which is only visible in special light situations
  • There is also a third relic, the so called "Sudarium of Oviedo” - the Face Cloth. It is a small bloodstained dishcloth size piece of linen. It is said that this cloth, commonly known as the Sudarium of Oviedo, was used to cover Jesus bloodied face following his death on the cross.

Volto Santo of Manoppello

Shroud of Turin