Lazarus in Hades
Lazarus is in the tomb two days, seeing the dead of all ages, beholding strange sights of terror, a great crowd held by the bonds of hell. His relatives grieve bitterly, looking at his tomb. But Christ is coming to bring His friend to life, so that one harmonious song may be sung by all: Blessed art Thou, O Savior, have mercy on us*
Can you imainge that which Lazarus would have beheld? Dead for four days, and for four days Lazarus was in the bonds of Hades. Before him would have laid all the generations of humanity begining with Adam and Eve. All of these generations chained in Hades by the devil himself. Complete and utter separation from God.
Can you imagine the success Satan would have felt at the fall? That for a period of time, all of humanity was destined for complete separation from God. That is, after all, where the word devil comes from; “one who separates”
What a sight for Lazarus and all who remain chained there. Complete desolation without any hope of a life restored in Christ.
This imagery makes the anticipation of the resurrection all the more exciting. In a week Christ Himself will come into Hades because He is fully human and is not spared from any portion of humanity. But when Christ comes into Hades, he will come breaking the doors down and Satan will tremble with fear because Christ is fully God.
Can you imagine the reactions of all who lay in Hades when Christ finally comes? Who would reject His teaching? Who would be able to scoff at salvation?
Because of Christ’s decent into Hades, we now face a more severe decision. Live our life according to His word and receive joy and salvation at our departure from this life, or life according to our own ways and receive complete separation for all eternity experiencing not Hades, but the wrath of punishment for our actions.
Let us live like the Saints, and in this Holy time remember the conquering of Death and Hades, the joy of the resurrection and the possibility of our eternal salvation!
*From pre-sanctified on the 6th Wednesday