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Topic: Lazarus Saturday

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Lazarus Saturday
« on: April 24, 2021, 07:16:16 AM »

Largely ignored by much of Christendom, the Orthodox mark the day before Palm Sunday as “Lazarus Saturday” in something of a prequel to the following weekend’s Pascha. It is, indeed a little Pascha just before the greater one. And this, of course, was arranged by Christ Himself, who raised His friend Lazarus from the dead as something of a last action before entering Jerusalem and beginning His slow ascent to Golgotha through the days of Holy week.

One of the hymns of the Vigil of Lazarus Saturday says that Christ “stole him from among the dead.” I rather like the phrase. Next weekend there will be no stealing, but a blasting of the gates of hell itself. What he does for Lazarus he will do for all.
Lazarus, of course, is different from those previously raised from the dead by Christ (such as the daughter of Jairus). Lazarus had been four days dead and corruption of the body had already set in. “My Lord, he stinks!” one of his sisters explained when Christ requested to be shown to the tomb.
I sat in that tomb in September 2008. It is not particularly notable as a shrine. It is today, in the possession of a private, Muslim family. You pay to get in. Several of our pilgrims did not want to pay to go in. I could not stop myself.
Lazarus is an important character in 19th century Russian literature. Raskolnikov, in Crime and Punishment, finds the beginning of his repentance of the crime of murder, by listening to a reading of the story of Lazarus. It is, for many, and properly so, a reminder of the universal resurrection. What Christ has done for Lazarus He will do for all.
For me, he is also a sign of the universal entombment: that even before we die, we have frequently begun to inhabit our tombs. We live our life with the doors closed (and we stink). Our hearts are often places of corruption and not the habitation of the good God. Or, at best, we ask Him to visit us as He visited Lazarus. That visit brought tears to the eyes of Christ. The state of our corruption makes Him weep. It is such a contradiction to the will of God. We were not created for the tomb.
I also note that in the story of Lazarus – even in his being raised from the dead – he rises in weakness. He remains bound by his graveclothes. Someone must “unbind” him. We ourselves, having been plunged into the waters of Baptism and robed with the righteousness of Christ, too often exchange those glorious robes for graveclothes. Christ has made us alive, be we remain bound like dead men.
I sat in the tomb of Lazarus because it seemed so familiar. But there is voice that calls us all.

Lazarus Saturday - Glory to God for All Things (ancientfaith.com)

President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”


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Re: Lazarus Saturday
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2021, 01:33:34 PM »

Since so many denominations of Christianity teach the soul goes to heaven or hell after death why doesn't the bible tell us Jesus called Lazarus's soul back from where ever it was? Instead he simply called Lazarus out of the tomb back to life because he was just dead.

I would say it is because the dead are dead just that nothing else. They know nothing and will not until their resurrection to either die the second death or receive a new body to live forever with Christ.

John 11

11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

If everyone is thinking alike then somebody isn't thinking.

George S. Patton


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Re: Lazarus Saturday
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2021, 04:09:43 PM »
The mechanisms of the afterlife are beyond our understanding.

We KNOW that the saved will live eternally with the Lord, sharing His mode of existence (1 John 3:2).

We KNOW that the thief on the cross was told “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

Here’s what makes sense to me:

If you imagine time as a line, stretching from creation to the ushering in of a new Heaven and new Earth:

then God, from His eternal standpoint outside of time, can see all points along that line.  Past, present, and future.  Now, imagine those “sight lines” as arrows, reaching from God to those points in time.  To the moments of death of people in the past, present, and future.

Now imagine those arrows pointing the other direction, as well (a diagram might be helpful — don’t have one).

So that we enter the afterlife at the same “moment”, relative to His “eternal now.”

Don’t know if that’s how it works.  But it’s helpful to me to think of it that way.


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