1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea."
8 "But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?"
9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world's light. 10 It is when people walk at night that they stumble, for they have no light."
11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up."
12 His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14 So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."
16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."
23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
27 "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. "The Teacher is here," she said, "and is asking for you." 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 "Where have you laid him?" he asked.
"Come and see, Lord," they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"
37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 "Take away the stone," he said.
"But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."
40 Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?"
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.
The first tomb of Lazarus, in Bethany, is a place of pilgrimage to this day. The tomb, as it was described in 1896, was entered down a flight of twenty-four rock-cut steps from the then-modern level, to a square chamber serving as a place of prayer, leading by more steps to a lower chamber that was reverenced by Muslim and Christians as the tomb of Lazarus. This is where Lazarus rose from death.
Early Church tradition said Lazarus was the first bishop of Marseille, France. Pilgrims visited their family tombs, with Mary and Martha, at the abbey of Vézelay in Burgundy. This is what I heard of, in my Christian elementary school, from a monk. Early Church history documents clearly show Lazarus and his sisters lived on the French coast after leaving the Christian persecution in Israel. This monk had also visited the tomb of Mary Magdalene, where her body is known to be intact. There is also a cave Lazarus is said to have lived, after landing in a boat from Israel. As I said, one of the essential things affirming this - the constant pilgrimages from the early centuries. This information is vastly different than many saint tombs. Like that of St. Nicholas. Turkey has two tombs reportedly of St. Nick and Ireland boasts one too. Lazarus has only this documentation.
Historically, Lazurus’ relics were taken to Constantinople in 898. In 1972, human remains were discovered under the altar and were identified as Lazurus’. His tomb said “Lazarus, the friend of Christ.”
Whether we believe these are Lazurus’ remains, or not, it is easy to believe Lazarus would be remembered as a friend of Jesus. Lazarus put his faith in Jesus.