“Lazarus come out,” Jesus calls to the bandaged man in his tomb, although Lazarus’s sister Martha had told Jesus that “there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days” (John 11:39, 43). The stories of Jesus’ life and passion appealed to Theodoric and members of other Germanic tribes whose religion centered on the creaturely nature of Jesus, depicted here as youthful and beardless, with a jeweled, cruciform halo, and dressed in purple garb.

Panels depicting Jesus’ passion make up the upper register of mosaics on the right wall of the nave at Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, while the upper reaches of the left wall are decorated with miracle scenes, including the raising of Lazarus and the healing of the paralytic from Capernaum (see photograph).