Icon of the Crucifixion (Ochrid) – F50


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This icon is from the city of Ochrid in Macedonia, where Saints Cyril and Methodius’ disciples settled to complete (into the newly-created Cyrillic alphabet) the translations of the Scriptures, services, and prayers of the Church into Slavonic, so as to reach out with the Christian Faith to all of the Slavic peoples. Beautifully crafted in overall soft gold tones with red, green, and brown fine detail, the Virgin Theotokos and the Beloved Disciple St. John the Evangelist stand beneath the Cross sorrowing, yet calm and dignified, as in their grief they are still respectfully aware that this Man dying before them is the Lord of Life, and Saviour of the world. 

This Lord of Life is voluntarily dying a painful and humiliating death to bring us eternal life, as the Cross and the Resurrection are actually one continuous action of love for our sake.  This cannot be understood, however, from just reason or observation, but only with participation in our own cross in our life.  May we also look on His Crucifixion with sorrow and hope, and cry like His Holy Mother, “Thou hast endured the Cross, yet Thou art…my God.” Save us, O Lord, as we sorrow, yet hope in Thee!

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