Crucifixion icon

The Crucifixion Icon: 5 Interesting Facts

There are many biblical themes associated with Jesus Christ, which have long been depicted in religious icons. The Crucifixion is the central image in Christian art and iconography. It reveals the meaning of the faith and its main dogma – Christ’s sacrifice for the salvation of humanity. The Crucifixion icon is an incredibly valuable shrine revered by all Orthodox Christians. In this blog post, we have gathered 5 interesting facts that will help you learn more about this religious image.

The Crucifixion icon: 5 interesting facts

1. Christ’s triumph

The Crucifixion icon depicts the scene of Holy Week. The image of Jesus Christ appears in the center of the composition. His naked body hangs on the cross; His eyes are closed, and His hands are outstretched, with open palms as if Jesus was calling everyone to embrace Him for salvation from sins. Despite the cruelty of death, Christ looks triumphant, as the cross would turn into the symbol of eternal life and grace.

2. Angels as the presence of God

In addition to Christ, the icon depicts other figures, including two weeping angels. They are floating above the Crucifixion, holding snow-white cloths in their hands. The angels symbolize the power and patronage of the Lord who gives eternal life in heaven. One can also see the Mother of God and John the Theologian near the Crucifixion.

3. Solar eclipse

The Crucifixion icon shows the environmental changes on the day of Jesus Christ’s death. At the sides of the image are the sun and the moon, which fade away at the moment of the Savior’s death. They also symbolize the two parts of the Bible: the Old Testament and the New Testament. This event marked the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament, the victory of Christianity over other religions.

4. Golden background

There are different versions of the Crucifixion. Some icons are painted using a dark background to emphasize the suffering and tragedy of the event. Most often, however, the composition includes gold hues, a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and the importance of His feat on behalf of humanity.

5. The educational purpose of the icon

The Crucifixion icon is a highly revered shrine in Orthodox Christianity. It appears in every church and monastery. The image has an educational function and instructs people on the righteous path, strengthens faith, and brings relief. Besides, since this icon has a deep meaning for every believer, it often becomes part of the home iconostasis.