Icon of the Crucifixion (14th c.) – F20


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The Crucifixion of Christ and His Resurrection three days later are one continuous act of the greatest love of God for mankind, and the central mystery of salvation for each one of us.  They also have an eternal and continuous echo of immediacy which is beyond time and space, yet occurred here on earth around two thousand years ago.  As Christ destroyed the degradation of death by His Own Death and Resurrection, and we are incorporated into His Life in the Church, so these events touch us deeply and are transformative in our own life as we enter them in soul and heart.

In this 14th century Russian icon, Christ hangs on the Cross with His eyes shut in death, and His Virgin Mother the Virgin Mary and His Beloved Disciple stand beneath His Cross lamenting.  They are both bowed in grief, yet Christ is peaceful now in death as both His present suffering was then relieved and He also affected this most important part of His Father’s Will and our salvation.  Beneath the Cross is Adam’s skull, for Golgotha is the place of the skull in Hebrew, and Christ’s Blood flowed upon Adam to begin his release from Hades and re-entry into Paradise by God’s grace.

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