Details in the Icon of the Crucifixion

(NOTE: Depending on the Icon of the Crucifixion you are looking at not all of these items may be present.)

Above Jesus' Cross is the Image of Christ on the towel (Veronica's Veil). This image is called "not made by hands."

Two flying angels worship the crucified Lord.

The inscription "King of Glory" is placed above the Cross. Jesus is the King who reveals God's glory by His love for us.

The Greek abbreviation IC XC signifies "Jesus Christ" and identifies the figure of Jesus. This abbreviation appears on all Icons of Jesus.

The Greek word NIKA which means "conquers". Part of our Resurrection Hymn runs "by death He conquered death" - Jesus is the victor over death and sin. Only in Him do we find eternal life.

The halo of Jesus is marked with a cross and within the cross are the Greek letters O W V which mean "He who is" - the divine name revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai. Jesus is identified as the Son of God who offers Himself for us.

The sun is depicted on the left side of the Icon and the moon on the right, for "The sun hid its light, and the moon turned to blood" (Joel 2:31).

Behind the body of Jesus is depicted the lance and the sponge. The lance pierced His side and the sponge was soaked with gall (sour wine) and offered to Jesus to drink on a pole made of reed or cane.

Hidden in a cave under the earth is the skull of Adam. The abbreviation SA is placed on the icon to identify the Skull of Adam. The blood of Jesus reaches down to Adam and thus washes clean the entire human race. Jesus is the new Adam, who brings us Salvation and leads us to Paradise through the tree of the Cross.

The city of Jerusalem is depicted in the background, for He was crucified outside the city walls.

MG is the abbreviation for the Mountain of Golgotha.

The tropar "We bow before your Cross and glorify Your Holy Resurrection" is written around the Cross. We cannot come before the Holy Cross - except in faith, worship and prayer.

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and St. John the Apostle may also be depicted on the Icon because at the Cross stood His Mother with the disciple whom He loved. Jesus gives His Mother to the care of John, and gives John to His Mother. Other figures may include the holy women and the centurion (John 19:2-27). The centurion testifies and declares: "Clearly this man was the Son of God!" (Mark 15:39).

The purpose of the Icon is for us to stand in the presence of this mystery of our Salvation, of God's great love for all of us. "For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Son that whoever believes in Him may not die but may have eternal life. God did not send the son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him" (John 3:16-17).

 St. Thomas the Apostle Byzantine Catholic Church, which is located in Rahway, New Jersey, provided Information about the icon.