Christ Pantocrator | Jesus

The image of Christ Pantocrator holds a significant place in the world of art and religion. It is
revered as the quintessential archetype of all icons. This iconic depiction represents the belief
that through the incarnation, Christ became the Word and image, embodying the unspeakable
mysteries and image of the invisible God. The Council of Nicea established the notion that Christ
is an immaculate image of the Father God.
The image of Pantocrator became the symbol of the Byzantine Church’s iconoclastic
controversy, which was advocated by John of Damascus and other theologians. The Western
Church also incorporates a similar pinnacle, known as majestas domini (“the glory of the Lord”);
however, it carries secular connotations more than religious.
In the world of art, the colors used to portray Christ’s garments carry cultural and religious
significance. The chiton, or undergarment, is usually depicted in gold or red, while the himation
or overgarment is generally shown in blue or occasionally green – colors that are regarded as
divine (red/white/gold) or earthly (blue/green/brown).
The image of Christ Pantocrator in iconography manifests Him blessing with the open Gospel – a
poignant reminder of His promise to give rest to those who are weary and laden. This verse
from the Gospel of Matthew (11:28) reflects His mercy, compassion, and grace for all who seek
refuge in Him.
On the icon, Christ is shown blessing, with the open Gospel: “Come to me, all of you who are
weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…” (Mt 11:28).