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30 Day Orthodox Challenge

Day 04- Your favorite Jesus icon

My favorite icon of the Lord Jesus Christ is Christ Pantocrator (from the Greek Παντοκράτωρ). Translating from the Greek, Pantocrator can mean “Almighty” or “all-powerful.” According to Wikipedia, Pantocrator is a compound of Greek words meaning “all” and “strength” (κρατος). Some interpret this as a sign of Christ’s omnipotence (meaning ‘all power’).

I enjoy the Christ Pantocrator icon because it reminds me of one of the assertions about Christ’s character- that he was both fully God and fully man (some Orthodox believe differently on this matter). This is depicted in the Pantocrator icon by the color of Christ’s tunic and cloak. The color of His tunic is red to signify the blood He shed for us while his cloak is blue to signify His divinity. 

In this icon, his right hand is raised in a blessing and is making the symbol of his monogram- IC XC (taken from IHCOYC XPICTOC). This blessing is a portrayal of Christ as the Lover of Mankind. In Christ’s left arm, He holds a closed Gospel book. The closed Gospel book is a portrayal of him as the Righteous Judge because the Gospel is the book by which we are judged. For me, an interesting factoid about the Christ Pantocrator icon is that Christ’s eyes are asymmetrical in some Pantocrator icon. This is supposed to be a portrayal of His dual nature as fully divine and fully human.

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