Resurrection of Lazarus from the Dead next >

Poem Of The Man-God, Volume 5, original version, by Maria Valtorta.
546. Resurrection of Lazarus.

This is private revelation. You are not required to believe it, however, it does have an Imprimatur, by Bishop Danylak, which means he found no theological erros in it. But why would you not want to read it. It is fascinating. Enjoy!

"The Master!" exclaim the first to see Him, and the word flies from group to group like the rustling of the wind; it spreads, like a wave that comes from afar and breaks on the shore as far as the walls of the house and enters it, certainly carried by the many Judaeans present, or by some Pharisees, rabbis or scribes or Sadducees, scattered here and there.

Martha comes out of the house with a group of Judaean visitors among whom there are Helkai and Sadoc. With her hand, she shades her eyes, tired of weeping, from the sun, as the light hurts them, so that she may see where is Jesus. She sees Him. She departs from those accompaning her and she runs towards Jesus. Who is at a few steps from the fountain shining in the sunshine. She throws herself at Jesus' feet, after bowing to Him, and kisses them, while bursting into tears she says: "Peace to You, Master!"

Jesus also, as soon as she is close to Him, says to her: "Peace to you!", and He raises His hand to bless her. releasing the hand of the boy, who is taken by Bartholomew, and held a little back.

Martha goes on: "But there is no more peace for Your servant." Still on her knees she looks up at Jesus and with a cry of grief that is clearly heard in the prevailing silence she exclaims: "Lazarus is dead! If You had been here, he would not have died. Why did You not come sooner, Master?" There is an unintentional tone of reproach in her question. She then reverts to the depressed tone of one who no longer has the strength to reproach and whose only comfort is to recollect the last acts and wishes of a relative to whom one has tried to give what he wanted, and there is therefore no remorse in one's heart, and she says: "Lazarus, our brother, has called You so much! ... Now, see! I am grieved and Mary is weeping and she cannot set her mind at rest. And he is no longer here! You know how much we loved him! We were hoping everything from You! ..."

Martha, after wiping her face, resumes: "But even now I hope because I know that whatever You ask of God, He will grant You." A sorrowful heroic profession of faith uttered in a trembling weeping voice, with her eyes full of anxiety and her heart throbbing with the last hope.

"Your brother will rise again. Stand up, Martha."

Martha stands up, stooping out of respect before Jesus to Whom she replies: "I know, Master. He will rise again at the resurrection on the last day."

"I am the Resurrection and Life. Whoever believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. And whoever believes and lives in Me will never die. Do you believe all that?" Jesus, Who had previously spoken in a rather low voice, addressing Martha only, raises His voice when saying these sentences in which He proclaims His power of God, and its perfect timbre resounds like a golden blare in the vast garden. The people present quiver with an emotion resembling fear. Then some sneer shaking their heads.

The Judaeans are watching Him. They have involuntarily divided into clearly distinct groups. On one side, in front of Jesus, all those who are hostile to Him, usually separated from one another by sectarian spirit, but now concordant in opposing Jesus.

With her usual cry: "Rabboni!" Mary runs out of the house with her arms stretched out towards Jesus and throws herself at His feet, which she kisses sobbing deeply.

"Peace to you, Mary. Stand up! Look at Me! Why weep thus, like one who has no hope?" Jesus stoops to say these words in a low voice, His eyes staring at Mary's, who on her knees, relaxing on her heels, stretches her hands towards Him imploringly and is unable to speak, so deep is her sobbing: "Did I not tell you to hope beyond what is credible in order to see the glory of God? Has your Master perhaps changed, that you are so depressed?"

... at last, she shouts: "Oh! Lord! Why did You not come sooner? Why did You go away from us? You knew that Lazarus was ill! If You had been here my brother would not have died. Why did You not come?

Oh! Jesus! Jesus! My Master! My Saviour! My hope!" and she collapses again, her forehead on Jesus' feet, which are washed once again by her tears, and she moans: "Why have you done that, Lord?! Also on account of those who hate You and are now rejoicing at what has happened ... Why have You done that, Jesus?!"

Jesus, Who has bent very low to hear those words whispered with her face near the ground, stands up and says in a loud voice: "Mary, do not weep! Also your Master is suffering for the death of His faithful friend ... for having had to let him die ..."

Oh! How sneering and radiant with hateful joy are the faces of the enemies of Christ! They feel that He is defeated and rejoice, whilst His friends are becoming sadder and sadder.

Jesus says in an even louder voice: "But I tell you: do not weep. Stand up! Look at Me! Do you think that I, Who loved you so much, have done this without a reason? Can you believe that I have grieved you thus in vain? Come. Let us go to Lazarus. Where have you put him?"

Martha, beside Jesus Who has forced Mary to stand up and is now guiding her, as she is blinded by her copious tears, points out to Jesus where Lazarus is, and when they are near the place she also says: "It is there, Master, that Your friend is buried" and she points at the stone placed across the entrance of the sepulchre.

Jesus, followed by everybody, has to pass in front of Gamaliel, in order to go there. But neither He nor Gamaliel greet each other. Gamaliel then joins the others stopping with all the more rigid Pharisees a few metres from the sepulchre, while Jesus goes on, very close to it.

Jesus looks at the heavy stone placed as a door against the sepulchre, a heavy obstacle between Him and His dead friend, and He weeps. The wailing of the sisters grows louder, as well as that of intimate friends and relatives.

"Remove that stone" shouts Jesus all of a sudden, after wiping His tears.

Everybody is surprised and a murmur runs through the crowd that has become larger as some people of Bethany have entered the garden and have followed the guests. I can see some Pharisees touch their foreheads and shake their heads meaning: "He is mad!". No one carries out the order. Even the most faithful ones are hesitant and feel repugnance to do it.

Jesus repeats His order in a louder voice astonishing even more the people, who urged by opposed feelings react at first as if they wanted to run away, but immediately afterwards they wish to draw closer, to see, defying the stench of the sepulchre that Jesus wants opened.

"Master, it is not possible" says Martha striving to restrain her tears to be able to speak. "He has been down there for four days. And You know of what disease he died! Only our love made it possible for us to cure him ... By now he will certainly smell notwithstanding the ointments ... What do You want to see? His rottenness? ... It is not possible ... also because of the uncleannes of putrefaction and ..."

"Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God? Remove that stone. I want it!" It is the cry of divine will ...

A subdued "oh!" is uttered by every mouth. Faces grow pale. Some people shiver as if an icy wind of death had blown over everybody.

The servants run away and come back with picks and sturdy levers. And they work inserting the points of the shining picks between the rock and the stone, and then replacing the picks with the sturdy levers and finally lifting the stone carefully, letting it slide to one side and dragging it cautiously against the rocky wall. An infected stench comes out of the dark hole making everyone withdraw.

Martha asks in a low voice: "Master, do You want to go down there? If You do, torches will be required ..." But she is wan at the thought of having to go down.

Jesus does not reply to her. He raises His eyes to the sky, He stretches out His arms crosswise and prays in a very loud voice syllabising the words: "Father! I thank You for hearing Me. I knew that You always hear Me. But I said so for those who are present here, for the people surrounding Me, that they may believe in You, in Me, and that You have sent Me!"

He remains thus for a moment and He becomes so transfigured that He seems to be enraptured, while without uttering any sound He says more secret words of prayer or adoration. I do not know. What I know is that He is so transhumanised that it is not possible to look at Him without feeling one's heart quiver. His body seems to become light, spiritualised, rising in height and also from the earth. Although the shades of His hair, eyes, complexion, garments remain unchanged -- contrary to what happened during the transfiguration on mount Tabor when everything became light and dazzling brightness -- He seems to shed light and that His whole body becomes light. Light seems to form a halo around Him, particularly round His face raised to the sky, certainly enraptured in the contemplation of His Father.

He remains thus for some time, then He becomes Himself, the Man, but powerfully majestic. He proceeds as far as the threshold of the sepulchre. He moves His arms forward -- so far He had held them crosswise, the palms turned upwards -- now with palms turned downwards, so that His hands are already inside the hole of the sepulchre and their whiteness is outstanding in the darkness of the hole. His blue eyes are blazing and their flash forecasting a miracle is today unsustainable, in the silent darkness, and in a powerful voice and with a cry louder than the one He uttered on the lake when He ordered the wind to abate, in a voice that I never heard in any other miracle, He shouts: "Lazarus! Come out!" His voice is echoed by the sepulchral cave and coming out of it, it spreads all over the garden, it is repeated by the undulations of the ground of Bethany, I think it travels as far as the first hills beyond the fields and then comes back, repeated and subdued, like an order that cannot fail. It is certain that from numberless directions one can hear again: "out! out! out!"

Everybody is thrilled with emotion and if curiosity rivets everyone in his place, faces grow pale and eyes are opened wide while mouths are closed involuntarily with cries of surprise already on their lips.

Martha, a little behind and to one side, seems fascinated looking at Jesus. Mary, who has never moved away from the Master, falls on her knees at the entrance of the sepulchre, one hand on her breast to check her throbbing heart, the other holding the edge of Jesus' mantle unconsciously and convulsively, and one realises that she is trembling because the mantle is shaken lightly by the hand holding it.

"Something white seems to emerge from the deep end of the sepulchre. At first it is just a short convex line, then it becomes oval-shaped, then wider and longer lines appear. And the dead body, enveloped in its bandages, comes slowly forward, becoming more visible, more mysterious and more awful.

Jesus draws back, imperceptibly, but continuously, as the other moves forward. Thus the distance between the two is always the same.

Mary is compelled to drop the edge of the mantle, but she does not move from where she is. Joy, emotion, everything, nail her to the place where she is.

An "oh!" is uttered more and more clearly by the lips previously closed by the anxiety of suspense: from a whisper hardly distinguishable it changes into a voice, from a voice into a powerful cry.

Lazarus is by now on the threshold of the sepulchre and he remains there rigid and silent, like a plaster statue just rough-hewed, thus shapeless, a long thing, thin at the head and legs, thicker at the trunk, as macabre as death itself, ghost-like in the white bandages against the dark background of the sepulchre. As the sun shines on him, putrid matter can be seen dripping already here and there from the bandages.

Jesus shouts out in a loud voice: "Unbind him and let him go. Give him clothes and food."

"Master! ..." says Martha, and perhaps she would like to say more, but Jesus stares at her subduing her with His bright eyes and He says: "Here! At once! Bring a garment. Dress him in the presence of all the people and give him something to eat." He orders and never turns round to look at those who are behind and around Him. He looks only at Lazarus, at Mary who is near her resurrected brother, heedless of the disgust caused to everybody by the putrid bandages, and at Martha who is panting as if she felt her heart break and does not know whether she should shout for joy or weep ...

... The shroud placed round his body falls off slowly as the bandages are removed, freeing the trunk that they had enveloped for days, restoring a human figure to what they had previously transformed into something like a huge chrysalid. The bony shoulders, the emaciated arms, the ribs just covered with skin, the sunken stomach begin to appear slowly. And as the bandages fall off, the sisters, Maximinus, the servants busy themselves removing the first layer of dirt and balms and they insist continuously changing the water made detergent with spices, until the skin appears clean.

... Martha thinks that he wishes to say something but has no voice yet and she asks: "What are you saying to me, my Lazarus?"

"Nothing, Martha. I was thanking the Most High." His pronunciation is steady, his voice loud. The crowds utter an "oh!" of amazement once again.

... Jesus goes personally towards a servant who is carrying a tray on which there is some food and He takes a honey-cake, an apple, a goblet of wine, and He offers them to Lazarus, after offering and blessing them, so that he may nourish himself. And Lazarus eats with the healthy appetite of one who is well. A further "oh!" of amazement is uttered by the crowd.

Jesus seems to see no one but Lazarus, but in actual fact He observes everything and everybody and when He sees with what furious gestures Sadoc, Helkai, Hananiah, Felix, Doras and Cornelius and others are about to go away, He says in a loud voice: "Wait a moment, Sadoc. I want to have a word with you, with you and your friends."

They stop with the sinister look of criminals.

Joseph of Arimathea makes a gesture as if he were frightened and beckons to the Zealot to restrain Jesus. But He is already going towards the rancorous group and is already saying loud:

"Sadoc, is what you have seen enough for you? One day you told Me that in order to believe, you and your peers needed to see a decomposed dead body be recomposed and in good health. Are you satisfied with the rottenness you have seen? Can you admit that Lazarus was dead and that now he is alive and healthy, as he has never been for many years? I know. You came here to tempt these people, to increase their grief and their doubt. You came here looking for Me, hoping to find Me hiding in the room of the dying man. You did not come with feelings of love and with the desire to honour the deceased man, but to ensure that Lazarus was really dead, and you have continued to come rejoicing all the more as time went by. If the situation had evolved as you were hoping, as you believed it would evolve, you would have been right in exulting."

"The Friend Who cures everybody, but does not cure His friend. The Master Who rewards everybody's faith, but not the faith of His friends in Bethany. The Messiah powerless against the reality of death. That is what was making you exult. Then God gave you His reply. No prophet had ever been able to put together what was decomposed, in addition to being dead. God did it. That is the living witness of what I am. One day it was God Who took some dust and made it into a form and He breathed the vital spirit into it and man was. I was there to say: "Let man be made in our own image and likeness". Because I am the Word of the Father. Today, I, the Word, said to what is even less than dust, I said to rottenness: "Live", and decomposition was recomposed into flesh, into wholesome, living, breathing flesh. There it is looking at you. And to the flesh I joined the spirit that had been lying for days in Abraham's bosom. I called him with My will, because I can do everything, as I am the Living Being, the King of kings to Whom all creatures and things are subject. What are you going to reply to Me now?"

He is in front of them, tall, ablaze with majesty, really Judge and God. They do not reply. He insists: "Is it not yet enough for you to believe, to accept what is ineluctable?"

"You have kept but one part of Your promise. This is not the sign of Jonah ..." says Sadoc harshly.

"You shall have that one as well. I promised it and I will keep My promise" says the Lord. "And another person, who is present here, and is waiting for another sign, shall have it. And as he is a just man, he will accept it. You will not. You will remain what you are."

He turns round and sees Simon, the member of the Sanhedrin, the son of Elianna. He gazes at him. He leaves the previous group and when He is face to face with him, He says in a low but incisive voice: "You are fortunate that Lazarus does not remember his stay among the dead! What have you done with your father, oh Cain?"

Simon runs away with a cry of fear that he changes into a howl of malediction: "May You be cursed, Nazarene!" to which Jesus replies: "Your curse is rising to Heaven and from Heaven the Most High throws it back at you. You are marked with the sign, you wretch!"

He goes back to the groups that are astonished, almost frightened. He meets Gamaliel who is going towards the road. He looks at Gamaliel, who looks at Him. Jesus says to him without stopping: "Be ready, rabbi. The sign will come soon. I never lie."

The garden slowly becomes empty. The Judaeans are dumbfounded, but most of them are bursting with wrath. If glances could reduce one to ashes, Jesus would have been pulverised a long time ago. They speak and discuss among themselves while going away, and they are so upset by their defeat that they are unable to conceal the purpose of their presence here under the hypocritical appearance of friendship. They go away without saying goodbye to Lazarus or to the sisters.