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The Crucifixion of Christ

The Icon expresses the event of the Crucifixion leads us into the greatest expression of the divine mystery of love.

"There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friend." (Jn. 15: 14) We can only approach the Crucifixion with awe and wonder at God's condescension. "And it was thus that He humbled Himself, obediently accepting even death, death on a cross!"

(Phil. 2: 8)

The Icon of the Crucifixion presents the entire event. The city is seen in the background, and at the foot of the cross is a dark place representing "the place of the skull." All creation was moved by Christ's death. Scripture tells us that at the time of our Lord's death the sun and the moon were darkened. These are portrayed by two dark circles to the left and the right of our Lord. Above our Lord's head was placed the inscription, "Jesus Christ, King of the Jews." In many icons this is written, under the light of grace, to read: "The King of Glory. "For the most part, Byzantine art does not concentrate on depicting material human reactions or feelings. Rather, the icon strives to depict the deeper spiritual reality with the insight of grace. Whenever we refer to the Crucifixion we never see it apart from our Lord's Resurrection. For this reason the inscription on the armrest of many icons of the Crucifixion reads, "We bow to Your cross, O Lord, and we praise Your holy resurrection." Our prayer on Great and Holy Friday looks upon the cross as a saving event. We, too, stand before the cross of Christ and enter this event and the Icon “The Crucifixion” help us it that.

VESPER HYMN using in praying to God with Icon “The Crucifixion” — O Savior of All, when for mankind You were placed in a new tomb, Hades, which ever mocked You, was terrified when it saw You. The bonds were shattered, the gates were broken, the graves opened, and the dead arose. Adam joyfully called out to You: "Glory to Your condescension, O Lover of Mankind."