This icon of the Crucifixion was painted in Heraklion, Crete by Emmanuel Lambardos in egg tempera. The Virgin Mary stands to Christ’s right side with three of the Myrrh-Bearing Women as they contemplate this terrible event which has just come to pass, for Christ is shown here with His eyes closed in death. Six angels surround the Cross as they too look on with astonishment at the Lord’s great love for men. He is truly the Lover of Mankind, and He dies for each of us in the past, present, and future.
St. John the Beloved Disciple stands to Christ’s left and looks down in sorrow, and beneath the Cross we see the skull of Adam now covered with the Blood of Christ as the beginning of Adam’s ascent back to Paradise in the Resurrection of the dead. St. Cornelius the Centurion looks up at Christ with new eyes, for he has seen the earthquake, and had seen the moment that Christ expired, and he exclaims in a confession of faith, “Truly this Man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39). Although there was truly a great agony of suffering and pain when Christ voluntarily died for us, here there is also great peace and resolution to bring life to us.