The Womb and the Tomb

Icon of the Nativity compared with the Icon of the Resurrection

Left: Christ in the manger; Right: the Empty Tomb

No description of the Nativity Icon would be complete without mention of Jesus’ appearance in the manger.

It should be never forgotten that Jesus came to us in order to die – this was known by Him, at least, from the very beginning. Therefore, in Iconography, the manger in the Nativity Icon deliberately resembles a stone coffin, the swaddling clothes resemble a burial shroud, and the cave itself can even be said to prefigure Christ’s tomb.

With the side-by-side comparison shown above of the Icon of the Nativity with the Icon showing the Myrrh-bearing women discovering Jesus’ empty tomb, no more words are necessary.

This entry was posted in Icons of Christ, Icons of the Incarnation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to The Womb and the Tomb

  1. Roland says:

    A virgin womb, conceiving thee, revealed thee;
    a virgin tomb, receiving thee, concealed thee.
    We glorify her from whom thou didst receive a beginning in time,
    and we honour him that ministered to the end of thine earthly life for our sakes,
    asking that through their prayers, O merciful Saviour,
    we might be deemed worthy of thy Kingdom of the Heavens.

    Theotokion on the Praises for the Feast of St. Joseph of Arimathea
    Appendix to the July Menaion, Holy Transfiguration Monastery

  2. Pingback: Boundless Christ | Resurrection Icon with Extra Scenes | A Reader's Guide to Orthodox Icons

  3. Pingback: The Nativity Icon | A Reader's Guide to Orthodox Icons

  4. Daniel Madison says:

    The side by side comparison just broke my heart.

  5. Pingback: White Angel of Serbia | The herald sent into outer-space | A Reader's Guide to Orthodox Icons

  6. Jon Anderson says:

    Reblogged this on The Mystical Axis.

  7. Pingback: The Womb and the Tomb in the Nativity Icon « ORTHODOX CITY HERMIT

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