This icon was painted by the Monk Michael from Mount Athos in 1988 and shows the Lord as both King of the Heavens and the Great High Priest for us on earth. Concerning why we need a Great High Priest, St. Paul says in his Epistle to the Hebrews, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus Christ the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
This type of icon depicts Christ wearing the robes, the crown or miter, and the stole (omofor or omophorion decorated with crosses) of bishops as they vest in church during the Divine Liturgy. Christ, the Great High Priest of His Church on earth, is shown holding an open Gospel Book in His left hand and blessing with His right hand. Majestic, serene, and loving is Our Lord, for although in Heaven, He is close, very close, to us here on earth.