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Resurrection of Christ

Resurrection of Christ by Lewis Williams, OFS

Artwork Narrative:

This icon of the Resurrection of Christ is full of symbolism, but unstated is the fact of its commission in the heart of the Covid Pandemic of 2020. The prominent message to us all is of Christs’ destruction of the power of death, from a cross and dark tomb in the rock, to the promise of new life for us all.

His right hand offers us a traditional blessing of peace, his fingers forming the letters of the word in Greek. His left hand holds the reminder of his death on the cross. He is always identified in icons with the Greek letter abbreviation (IC and XC) of his name ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’.  In his halo, an orb of light symbolic of holiness, are letters stating ‘I Am Who Am’ from Exodus 3:14, promising He is what he has and always will be, our God of hope and love.

The colors are symbols, as blue represents heaven and is significant in the mandorla, the almond-shaped area behind Christ, illuminating his transformation from death into life, and heaven into this world (‘the kingdom is with you’, Luke 17:20-25). It is fringed with heavenly clouds. His death shroud in the tomb is purple, the color of Royalty, the King triumphant over death. His wounds, still visible, shows us death no longer holds us.

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The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Christian faith. Without the resurrection, the belief in God's saving grace through Jesus is destroyed. When Jesus rose from the dead, he confirmed his identity as the Son of God and his work of atonement, redemption, reconciliation, and salvation. The resurrection was a real, literal, physical raising of Jesus’ body from the dead.

Jesus was arrested, tried, and found guilty of claiming to be a king. His body was hung on a cross between two thieves. After his death, Jesus’ body was wrapped in linen cloths and placed in a tomb with a large stone rolled across the opening.  On the third day, an early Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene and another Mary came to the tomb and found it empty. Sitting on the rolled away stone was an angel of the Lord who told them to not be afraid because Jesus had risen. As the women left to tell the disciples, Jesus Christ met them and showed them his nail-pierced hands.

Both the Old and the New Testament speak of the truth of Jesus being raised from death - Jesus testified of his resurrection before he died on the cross and his disciples witnessed his body after the resurrection.  Below are the Bible verses and Scriptures that both prophesize of the resurrection and testify of its reality after Christ’s death.