Lazarus is the subject of a prominent miracle in the life of Jesus from the gospel of John. Lazarus was said to be a follower of Jesus who lived in the town of Bethany, near Jerusalem. When Jesus arrives in Bethany, he finds that Lazarus is dead and has already been in his tomb for four days. He first meets with Martha, Lazarus’ sister, and Mary. Martha laments that Jesus did not arrive soon enough to heal her brother and Jesus replies with the well-known statement, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” Jesus then leaves for Lazarus’ tomb. Over the objections of Martha, Jesus has the stone rolled away from the entrance and says a prayer. He then calls Lazarus to come out and Lazarus does so, still wrapped in his grave-cloths. Rembrandt’s etching of the event has a strong diagonal composition reinforced by the strong lighting. Light emanates from the opening of the tomb where Lazarus has begun to emerge. Jesus’s back faces the viewer, his hand raised over the miracle. Surrounding the tomb, recoiling away in surprise is a crowd of Jewish mourners.
-Susan Bonta, Class of 2018