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.
This is truly an exquisite icon. It captures the Sixth Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin Mary with stark colors. St. Joseph of Arimathea handles the removal of the Savior‘s body from the cross nwith reverence. The Blessed Mother‘s grief is vividly captured as is the deep sadness of St. John the Apostle and Saint Mary Magdalene. The skull of Adam beneath the cross emphasizes that Christ has paid the debt of our sin. It is a wonderful addition to the decor of any Christian home for Passiontide and Good/Great Friday.
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