How the Story of Lazarus Prepares You for Christ’s Passion

Perhaps you have heard the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, but do you know how connected it is to Christ’s Passion and Resurrection? Today, Dr. Sri explains the significance of Christ raising Lazarus from the dead and how it helps prepare us in a particular way for Christ’s Passion.

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Each of us must strive for confidence and humble abandonment when we speak to Christ in prayer.


The Fourth Day

It is an ancient Jewish belief that after a person died, their spirit would “hover” over the body for three days. On the fourth day, the spirit would leave and the person would be considered truly dead. Knowing this makes it very significant that Jesus raised Lazarus four days after Lazarus had died. It showed that Christ could raise a person even after they were “really dead.”

Lazarus, a Friend of Jesus

In John 11:3, Martha and Mary inform Jesus that “the one you love is ill.” And in John 11:11, Jesus says, ““Our friend Lazarus is asleep, but I am going to awaken him.” These two quotations tell us that Jesus loved Lazarus and that he considered Lazarus a friend. This becomes very significant when in John 15:13, in his farewell discourse, Jesus says, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Setting the Stage in Jerusalem

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, this caused a big shift in Jesus’ position with the sanhedrin in Jerusalem. He had now done an incredible miracle: raising a man from the dead on the fourth day. This put the sanhedrin on edge because around Passover it was already typical for there to be riots and uprisings. Rome would typically send more troops because of this. Therefore, the sanhedrin was concerned about Jesus coming into Jerusalem at Passover and the uproar it might cause. This is why Caiaphas says in John 11:49, “It is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” Little did he know how accurate his prophecy was.

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Upcoming Events with Dr. Sri
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Dr. Edward Sri is a theologian, well-known Catholic speaker, and author of several best-selling books. His work with Ascension includes study programs such as A Biblical Walk Through the Mass, No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk Through Christ’s Passion and Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother. Several of Dr. Sri’s programs were filmed on-site in the Holy Land, and feature immersive video explorations of the sacred sites where Jesus, Mary, and the Apostles lived and died.

Dr. Sri is the host of the acclaimed Ascension podcast All Things Catholic with Dr. Edward Sri.  Together with Curtis Martin, Dr. Sri is a founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), of which he serves as senior vice president of Apostolic Outreach.

Dr. Sri lives with his wife Beth and their children in Colorado.

1 Comment

  1. Dr. Sri, we have been listening to you, reading your books and studying your presentations for years. Your words on the story of Lazarus were thoroughly enjoyable and amazingly enlightening. So good. We thank God for you.


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