Artists have portrayed Christ as a baby in the manger and as a man suffering on the Cross. Some of the most inspirational depictions are classified as a Christ Pantocrator, meaning “Christ, All Powerful.” This depiction emphasizes the Hypostatic Union of Jesus Christ — that He is both God and man.

The oldest known icon of Christ Pantocrator is found in St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai in Egypt and is believed to have been created in the sixth century. It was painted with colored beeswax on a wooden panel measuring 84 by 45.5 centimeters. Jesus is shown as a bearded man offering a blessing with His right hand while holding the Gospels in His left.

A careful examination shows that there are subtle differences between the left and right sides of Christ’s face. The left side seems to be stern, while the right side has a kinder expression. This contrast emphasizes that Jesus is God and man, a judge as well as the Savior of the world. 

Originally posted 2019-05-17 17:32:02.