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And he was transfigured before them, and his face shown like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.
Christ appears before us in this beautiful icon in a robe of brilliant white, recalling the robes worn by the righteous in John’s Revelation. The Lord’s arms are opened wide in a gesture of welcome but also displaying the wounds of His crucifixion. Jesus invites us to share in His new life by donning white robes of baptism, the ancient symbol of membership in His church. Card size 4 3/8" x 6".
Icon greeting cards are single-fold cards printed on heavy stock, 4.38" x 5.93". The cards are blank inside for your own message or custom imprint and have an explanation of the history and symbolism of the icon printed on the back.
In the Old Testament, there are many strongly worded prohibitions against making images. "You shall not make for yourself an idol ...", the second Commandment, being one example. In the traditions of both Judaism and Islam, God is the infinite, invisible, creator whom "no man has seen face to face." But Christians believe that God revealed Himself to mankind by taking on human flesh as Jesus Christ, the great mystery of the Incarnation. St. John of Damascus wrote in the eighth century, "In former times God, who is without form or body, could never be depicted. Now when God is seen in the flesh conversing with men, I make an image of the God whom I see. I do not worship matter; I worship the Creator of matter who became matter for my sake." This icon of the Resurrected Christ is a new composition, although the prototype could be a detail from an icon of the Ascension or the Transfiguration, ancient icon designs that show Christ dressed in a white robe.
Christ appears before us in this beautiful icon in a robe of brilliant white recalling His garb at the Transfiguration, "And he was transfigured before them, and his face shown like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white." (Matthew 17:2) White was also the color of the robes of the righteous in John’s Revelation, although he never states that Jesus was so dressed. Through the ages, white robes have symbolized membership in the Church gained through baptism. Jesus’ arms are opened wide in a gesture of welcome but also displaying the wounds of His crucifixion. Surrounding His head is a halo, signifying sanctity. His halo includes a cross and the Greek letters omega, omicron, and nu spelling "HO ON." In English, this becomes "Who Am," the name used for God in Exodus 3:14. Jesus’ hair is depicted long and flowing, intended to remind us of the endless flow of time in which His love has existed for us. His gaze is serious and spiritual as in most icons, but full of warmth and compassion for we who have been saved through His sacrifice. The background of the icon is gold leaf. Gold has traditionally been used to symbolize Divine light because the metallic surface reflects and enriches light that strikes it in a manner so different from paint. The letters on the background, "IC XC" are the Greek monogram for Christ, Iesous Khristos. The oval shape surrounding Christ is called a mandorla, here subtly suggested rather than dramatically emphasized as in some icons. The mandorla represents an opening ripped asunder in the fabric of the world to expose the glory of Heaven beyond, symbolic of Divine revelation.