Monday, 18 August 2008

Two Things Go Together

In Christianity, there are two events that always go together.

The first is the Crucifixion which happened on what we call Good Friday.

The icon above is a representation of the event. It shows Mary, the Mother of Christ on His right side and St. John, the "beloved" disciple on Christ's left. Behind the Blessed Mother is St. Mary Magdalene and next to St. John is a Roman soldier.

Above the cross are two angels and under the cross are the symbols for death. The buildings in the background are supposed to represent Jerusalem although tradition makes them look more European than Middle Eastern.

The Greek at the top of the cross reads: "King of the Jews".


Then on the third day after Good Friday, the Resurrection occurred.

The tremendously wonderful and unexpected event is depicted in the icon above. The Greek name for the Resurrection is Anastasis. The phrase in Greek underneath Anastasis refers to the "harrowing of Hell".

This icon shows Christ in His glorified body in the process of "harrowing Hell". This means that Christians believe that His crucifixion, death and resurrection were retro-active. So you see Satan chained and Hell (or Sheol) being emptied of all those righteous people who lived before the coming of Christ.

He is actually pulling Adam and Eve from the coffins while Jewish priests and kings from the past, who have already been brought forth from the dead, watch with rejoicing.

"Sheol", by the way, is the name for the place the dead went before Christ's coming and was supposed to be a place of darkness and sleep -- a place of waiting. You will occasionally find the word in the Psalms of David.


So, as you can see, I have been very busy working on icons lately -- for which activity I am very grateful.


May peace be with you all

P.S. Anonymous wrote to point out that I had put "winnowing of Hell" when what I really meant to put was "harrowing of Hell". Thank you very much Anonymous. I went back and corrected it immediately. ST


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't you mean the Harrowing of Hell?