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Orthodox icon of the Baptism of our Lord (Theophany, also Epiphany) (2). Copy of a contemporary icon.
Commemorated January 6th.
This icon is about the Feast that reveals the Holy Trinity to the world through the Baptism of the Lord (Mt.3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22). God the Father spoke from Heaven about the Son, the Son was baptized by the St John the Forerunner, and the Holy Spirit descended upon the Son in the form of a dove. From ancient times this Feast was called the Day of Illumination and the Feast of Lights, since God is Light and has appeared to illumine those who sat in darkness, and in the region of the shadow of death (Mt.4:16), and to save the fallen race of mankind by grace. John is on the left baptizing Christ, His face turned toward heaven and beholding the miracle of the Theophany.
On the opposite bank to John the Baptist, angels wait invisibly to receive the newly baptized Christ and clothe Him. Despite being the one submerged in the Jordan, Christ is shown in the center of the icon standing up and staring at us. His body is depicted as strong and beautiful. At the bottom of the Icon, little creatures appear to be fleeing from the feet of Christ. This is a reflection of the words of the Psalmist regarding the Messiah (Christ): the sea saw and fled, the Jordan turned back (Psalm 114:3). At the top we see the representation of the Heavenly realm and the action of the Holy Spirit also symbolized by the dove.
"Extreme Humility" icon
Orthodox icon of the "Extreme Humility". Icon of 17 cent. Monastery of St. Stephan, Greece.
Commemorated on Holy Friday.
In the icon of the Extreme Humility, the nakedness of the body, the closed eyes, the open sarcophagus, the Cross, the instruments of the Passion, the wounds in the hands and the ribs and the hair down, consist the inclusion of the Holy Passion and forewarn the Resurrection.The Cross comprises the symbol of triumph of the Extreme Humility, the victory of immortality and life, and hope and salvation for the orthodox Christian.
The Theological Interpretation: The composition, while it is connected with the element of glory in a way that one illumines and completes the other one. The Humility of Christ is not meant in pietisitic, psychological or moral terms. Christ is not humbled to reach a moral perfection or for His own benefit. • His humility is emptiness, it is the pouring out of Himself and it is understood under the existential terms. He freely takes the human nature, except sin, and reaches the edge of death to heal it and deify it.
The icon of The Extreme Humility is the symbol of the Passion, which leads to the ultimate humility of Christ, with the ignominious death on the Cross, which He endured for the sake of human kind. He thus reaches at perfect condescension, into the absolute self-denial. Death is the ultimate enemy, who entered the life of man because of sin, because of his separation from God. Therefore, Christ comes as the Savior and gives his battle on the Cross as a King. His rule can only be nothing but servitude, since the king has become a servant out of love: "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20: 28)
"See the place where the Lord lay" icon
Orthodox icon of "See the place where our Lord Jesus Christ lay", by Theophanis the Cretan (1535), Stavronikita Monastery, Mount Athos.
When the Myrrhbearers arrived to the grave of Christ they saw an Angel siting next to it and the Angel announced them the Resurrection of our Christ and told them:"See here was the place that our Lord Jesus Christ lay, but now He is not here any more because He Resurrected".
"See the place where the Lord lay" icon (2)
"The Tabernacle" icon