We also see on Christ’s purple tunic a bright red strip of cloth, called in Greek the ‘apostolikon’ and in Latin the ‘clavus’. It refers to Christ’s teaching in the world. It is also seen in Icons of the prophets, the Apostles and angels. It is an orange/red color with gold highlights. The red color represents life.
We also see Christ’s right hand is raised in blessing. This is not merely a hand gesture, but an actual blessing of His grace upon the whole world. With His left hand, He holds the Gospel, In this, we see that Christ still teaches and enlightens the world through the Gospels and speaks to us through these words.
Within the halo is the shape of a cross and this represents His passion and crucifixion. On the Cross we see the letters "O W N" meaning ‘The Being’, or ‘I AM THAT I AM’, In Exodus 3: 13-14, Moses asked God what should he tell the people if they ask after his, God’s name, “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM; and He said, "Thus shalt thou say unto the people of Israel, I AM has sent me unto you”. Here Christ tells us He is the ‘Absolute Being’ that has no beginning or end. The inscription ‘IC XC’ is in abbreviation for the Greek name of Jesus Christ. With the two names of O W N and IC XC , we testify that Christ is both God and Man.
The lights of the icon are also drenched in symbolism. The most obvious lights are the 'second lights', which are the geometric shapes as seen on Christ's garments. These lights depict the light of the soul, our spiritual nature; the fainter 'first lights' depict the light of the body, our physical nature, which forms the base for the second lights. The first light is about the separation of light from darkness; as in Genesis: 'God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.' (Gen 1:3-4). The second light is about the separation of light within light. The first light creates a basic form. The second light is like the facets of a diamond where the light flows over the facets and breaks into the colors of the rainbow. The smallest lights within the second lights, or "third lights' are the light of God, the uncreated light. One can meditate when gazing upon the image that we first see the light of the soul, which contains the light of God, which is awakened within the awareness of our physical nature, the first light.
"Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law" (Psalm 119:18). My prayer is for God to open my 'spiritual eyes' to show me the glory of things unseen with my 'natural eyes'.