Christ blesses us with His right hand as “Pantocrator” (the Greek word for “Ruler of All”), His fingers formed into the shape of the Greek letters “IC XC,” the abbreviation in Greek for Jesus Christ, and He holds in His left arm a jewel-studded Book of the Gospels. From the prototype of the first icon of Christ, miraculously made by the Saviour Himself, He is traditionally shown with a short beard and having long dark brown hair with reddish highlights, parted in the middle. His expression is serious but merciful, to evoke from us a serious and loving response, for the Truth is both sober and yet hopeful for us.
Christ is shown with an outer blue robe, symbolizing the Humanity that He put on at His Incarnation, and with an inner red robe, representing His Divinity that remains for all eternity. In the cross in the nimbus or halo around His head are the Greek letters for “I AM” to remind us that although Incarnate in time, Jesus Christ is God before the ages, even before Abraham, and He is the same God Who spoke with Moses face to face. Christ blesses us at all times, but we must be open and receptive to fully receive it.