The Resurrection | Anastasis

The Anastasis icon or Orthodox resurrection icon, dating back to ancient Greek tradition, depicts
Jesus Christ’s resurrection in a form distinct from western religious art. Unlike Western paintings
that attempt to visually represent the incomprehensible event of the resurrection, the Orthodox
resurrection icon focuses on the spiritual implications of Jesus’ triumph over death and hell.
This iconic image is inspired by John Chrysostom’s Easter sermon, which is still widely read
during Orthodox Easter liturgy. The icon portrays a rocky abyss with two panels forming a cross
of St. Andrew, symbolizing the gates of hell. In the center of the image is Jesus, often depicted in
white and with a flowing cloak that symbolizes the movement and dynamism with which he
overcomes the gates of hell from above.
What is striking in this icon is its depiction of the black abyss beneath Jesus, often revealing
satanic torture devices and Satan himself, bound by chains. The Anastasis icon, thus, signifies
Jesus’ victory over the forces of darkness and his power to liberate the dead.
It is not simply a work of art, but a means for believers to connect with and celebrate their faith.
Its importance and symbolism have endured over the centuries, inspiring countless faithful to
meditate on the mysteries of life, death, and resurrection.