Science, most specifically the Forensic Anthropology branch of it, has done what can only be termed as miracle. It has given a humane face to the Son of God.
Forensic Anthropology is the application of science to aid in identification of deceased individuals. Anthropologist uses physical markers present on a skeleton to identify sex, age, race and cause of death too. It is widely used technique in identifying remains, solving crimes and assisting in exploration of history.
A British scientist along with an Israeli archeologist has used forensic anthropology to draw the scientifically most accurate face of Jesus of Nazareth. Most astonishing thing is that this face is so real and humane that it is nowhere near that white, westernized, pale, thin face, blue eyes, and, flowing golden hair of Jesus, which we are accustomed to see in every church glass window. It is the biggest breaking of stereotype of Jesus’ image.
Surprisingly the holy face of Jesus that we see everywhere is nowhere mentioned in Bible. Infact there is no physical description of Jesus in Bible. If one has to find any proof of physical existence of Jesus, he has to search really hard, because till now there is no scientific proof has been found to support Jesus’ existence. There is however no denying of the fact that no matter how he may have looked; stories of this Son of God, have changed the course of world’s religious history.
If there was no description of his physical appearance of Jesus in Bible then how did we came to know of his holy face?.
Here comes Shroud Of Turin. This shroud could be termed as the most debated, yet most believed religious artifact of all time. Shroud of Turin is supposedly the linen cloth that was used to wrap Jesus’ body after his Crucifixion. The shroud is mentioned in every gospel of Bible but it was never found until much later in 15th century (as per records). This shroud has imprints of a man having wounds similar to a Crucifixion victim, most specifically of Jesus’, with blood stains on head, arms, and parts of body consistent with Jesus’ injuries and death. This shroud also has an image of a face with a mustache, long beard and hair, a thin and old-looking man, with about 6 ft height.
This is the face of Jesus, we all know. Face we all are very familiar to. A face which was further transformed by the contemporary artists of western imagination.
With shroud of Turin itself failing to scientific tests of authenticity, the image on it can be hardly considered an accurate depiction of what Jesus must have looked like. There are other contradictions too, like holy image of Jesus is nowhere similar to a person who has lived in his time and region. Fact is when Jesus got arrested, Judas had to specifically point him to authorities, as they were not able to differentiate him from his disciples. It was mentioned in the bible that he looked like his disciples. So, in no way he would have looked like how he is depicted in churches across the world.
This new scientifically correct image that has come up now, seems to be more accurate and near to what he must have looked than the holy one. As per this new image of Jesus, he has typical features of a dark-skinned Galilean Semites era man, with short curly black hairs. Height about 5ft. 1in., and average weight of 110 pounds. It may not be the real image of Jesus, but by far it is the most near image of what he may have looked like.
Question remains, does it matter how he looked?
The way current political and religious scenario and events are unfolding, I would answer, yes, it matters. Will your faith in Jesus change, if instead of white he would be of dark skin?
We need to see this new image and think in our heart, does it matter what race, sex, age, nationality or color of a person is, when we love him?
If we can love our God, despite the color of his skin, why can’t we love our fellow humans. Why do we need to judge others, based on their race or their sexual orientation?
Isn’t Love greater than all of this?