After the life-giving death of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea asked for His precious body, in order to give Him a dignified burial. Pilate granted his request, and this icon shows the scene of the Lord's descent from the Cross.
He is being taken down by Joseph, while Mary the Theotokos in sadness cradles Him in her arms. The Apostle John is there also, holding the Lord's hand, and the women disciples shed tears all around. The angels look on, amazed and bewildered to see the incarnate God dead. Another man removes the nails from Jesus' feet, below. In the rocks beneath the Cross is a skull, which has a double meaning: the hill itself was called Golgotha, "the place of the skull," and it also represents the skull of Adam.