Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ, Theophany Icon (1)

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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. 

Reference: G.O.A.A.

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