After many alterations and revisions, I at last now feel satisfied with my effort in depicting the image of our divine Savior. After I finished the icon of our blessed Lady, it was only proper to turn my hand to the One to whom she always points. The inspiration for this icon came from several different versions of this subject. I took certain elements from each of these that stood out to me and then wove them back together in my own unique way that still remains faithful to tradition.
In this icon, Christ stands in majesty surrounded by the golden light of heaven. He wears a royal gold crown on His head and a cloak of imperial purple over His shoulders, symbolic of the temporal authority He wields over the earthly affairs of human society: the state and all man’s political life, commerce, the arts, etc. And over His inner tunic He wears an omophorion – the vestment of an Eastern bishop – symbolic of the spiritual authority that He wields through His Church.
With his left hand He holds an iron sceptre, symbolic of His justice and His firm rule over both the Church and the State in directing man towards his final end. But at the same time, His right hand is raised in blessing, symbolic of His mercy and the benignity of His governance, respecting human weakness and freedom. And to drive home how different His kingdom is from those of this world, under His left arm He holds the golden book of the Gospels, inscribed with words from St. John 14:6, to show that His reign is not one of domination and oppression but healing and liberation – the restoration of human nature and its union with God.