Christ is shown here dying in love for us as He fulfills all of the prophecies concerning His Incarnation, Life, and Death that were written in the Law, Prophets, and Psalms concerning Him. This icon is a modern one by Monk Michael from Mount Athos. The Virgin Mary and St. John flank the Cross as they look on with both wonder at such a mystery and pain at such an agonizing passion and death. The other Myrrh-Bearing women stand by the Virgin, while the centurion Longinus on the right, who later became a Christian Saint and Martyr, looks up with amazement.
The city walls of Jerusalem are in the background and the skull of Adam is right beneath the Cross, as blood flows down to anoint it for salvation after such a long wait. This icon is patterned after Theophanes the Cretan’s 16th c. icon from Athos’ Stavronikita Monastery. This great Mystery of the Cross is a door to Heaven when accepted and internalized into the mind and heart, for the Road to Golgotha is a necessary part of our own salvation. “O Thou Who wast lifted up willingly on Thy Cross, bestow Thy mercy on the new people named after Thee, O Christ God….”