Christ blessing (XVIth century)
The first Council of Nicea (AD 325) which stated that Jesus Christ was the perfect visible image of the Lord was followed by three centuries of fight against heresies – Arianism which denied the divine nature of Jesus and Monophysitism which denied His human nature – at the end of which the person of Christ was finally declared to be the hypostatic union of His two natures. The Pantocrator icon thus became the very symbol of this fight. Icons were the targets of destruction campaigns, in particular during the reign of iconoclast Emperor Leo III the Issaurian. Those who worshiped icons like John Chrysostom who was one of their staunchest supporters were persecuted. By defending the image of a God-man Christ, one defended the very principle of incarnation and therefore of the efficiency of salvation.
Icons of this type became a powerful stronghold of True Faith and some people died as martyrs for them until the second Council of Nicea (AD 787) and what is casies.
lled the Triumph of Orthodoxy (843 AD). The icon of Christ Pantocrator, that is the Lord or King of the Universe is the very image of the victory of Orthodox Faith over all here
Jesus Christ is wearing a coat whose inner colour is red and outer coulour is green.
These colours incarnate His two Human natures. He is wearing a golden scarf. The
garment at the base of His chest is wide, as if to demonstrate He has the whole world
within His body. His gaze is devoid of any feeling but full of inner Light. His forehead is
wide and three circles representing the Holy Trinity appear on His face.
He is holding an open book – ‘I am with you always, to the close of the age’ (MT
28:20). He has a double cruciform halo and the Alpha, the Beta and the Omega are
inscribed in it. The halo of this icon was not gold-leaf gilt by choice.