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Historic Jesus
Linen Shroud

Linen is a woven fabric that is made from the beaten reeds of the flax plant. Since flax grows only in marshy conditions, not much linen was woven in Palestine, a predominantly dry, hilly country. Egypt was the great flax and linen center of the ancient world.

Fine linen cloth was difficult to make and therefore was scarce and very expensive. It was worn by royalty and wealthy people. Jewish priests wore some garments made from linen, and it was used in some of the hangings of the tabernacle and the temple. The Levite musicians in the temple wore some linen garments. Fine linen was considered a prized gift for a man to present to the woman he loved (Ezek. 16.10, 13).

Joseph of Arimathea, an esteemed and wealthy man, secured the body of Jesus from Pilate and, together with Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin who did not approve of Jesus' death, washed the body according to custom and then anointed it with a hundred pounds of spices and wrapped it in fine linen cloth. Then they bound Jesus' limbs to his body with strips of linen, and covered his face with a. napkin. These two devout men gave Jesus a burial fit for a king.