Lazarus Saturday

The raising of Lazarus comes before Hosanna Sunday. The opening of the Gospel (John 11:55 – 12:11) announces that everyone is heading to Jerusalem for a feast.  It is no coincidence that the feast is the Passover. John is reminding us that Jesus is the Passover Lamb. On Hosanna Sunday we will see Christ, ‘the Lamb of God who takes the away the sins of the world,’ enter Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. The Gospel of the raising of Lazarus is a final sign in John’s Gospel. It is a sign that Christ will conquer death. Ironically it is the performance of this sign that is last straw for the Pharisees and will lead to Jesus’ arrest. Christ dies because he raises Lazarus from the dead and this sign reminds us that in one week’s time, Christ will die and rise to bring us out of death. Lazarus represents all of us. Lazarus is a type; life is not given or received without cost. This is the ‘debt’ that the Syriac writers often speak about.

Reflection

Entering into this Passion Week, consider that you are Lazarus. Christ has offered his life for you. Like Lazarus, Jesus is calling you out of the tomb of death, out of the bandages of your sin and into the light of life. Are you ready to come out of the tomb? On this Saturday of Lazarus spend sometime in the light.

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Maronite Icon of the Raising of Lazarus


Lent