Christ stands before us in this well-preserved 17th c. Cretan icon with a clear and perceptive gaze, and in His left hand He holds a closed ornate Gospel Book to remind us of the guidelines by which we all should live. His life is a revelation of the Mysteries of God and the Lord’s amazing condescension of Love, to come to earth and open fully the path to Heaven for all of us. Christ is the most interactive person Who has ever appeared, for He is intent on giving us “life, and that...[we] might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10) for “in Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4) As the Lord taught us in the Gospels, there is a great difference between just worldly life and Everlasting Life. May we be wise and choose the fullness of Life that He offers.
With His right hand He blesses with the priest's blessing, the fingers of His hand forming the Greek letters "IC XC", which is the abbreviation for "Jesus Christ". In Christ's halo are the Greek letters for "I AM", for this is the King of Kings as spoken of in Revelation (1:8), "I am Alpha and Omega...saith the Lord, Which Is, Which Was, and Which Is To Come, the Almighty."