Christ is traditionally shown from the earliest times of iconography with a short beard and long dark hair parted in the middle. His outer robe is blue, symbolizing His humanity which he put on in time at His Incarnation, and His inner robe is red, symbolizing His Divinity that He always is, was, and will be in all Eternity. In Christ’s halo or nimbus, his cross is lightly traced in red with the words “I AM” to remind us that He is the Lord of all.
This mid-16th c. Russian icon has raised edges which define the lowered interior space where the main figure of the icon is drawn. This lower space can symbolize the chalice, which contains God, for all icons are actually icons of the Incarnated God-Man Jesus Christ, Who is an icon of God the Father. Since we are made in His Image and Likeness, the sanctified humanity of the Saints are icons of Him also. Sometimes this space is also said to symbolize the Ark of the Covenant.
We see in this icon Christ’s eyes calling to us in a silent suffering love, as He serenely, yet intently, beckons us to join Him on the journey to Heaven. May we start today!