FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT YEAR A – 25th / 26th March, 2023

The pure human emotion of Jesus in this text attests to the love he had for Lazarus, but this human affection is nothing compared with the future promise to which the actions of Jesus towards Lazarus will lead. For those without faith, the tomb is simply a place of human corruption and decay. Death has ultimate power over people. But for people of faith, the tomb holds no fear. It is ironic that in raising Lazarus to life, Jesus is ensuring his own death at the hands of ‘the Jews’. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, the power of sin and death is broken, and instead, resurrection and life are offered to all who would attest with Martha that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. It is Jesus who is the resurrection and the life! There is a fundamental difference between the death and resurrection of Lazarus and that of Jesus. Lazarus will return to death, symbolised by the fact that he still wears the clothes of death when he comes forth from the tomb. Jesus’ death, however, will lead to a glory that lasts forever, symbolised by the fact that his death clothes are neatly folded and placed to one side when he emerges from the tomb. The resurrection of Jesus brings eternal life.