The Icon of the baptism of Christ is based on the Gospel of St. Mark (1:10-11). It is also known as the Theophany (the Epiphany in the West) because it is the point at which Jesus begins His ministry of salvation.
The icon shows the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. St. John the Forerunner officiates, his right hand placed on the head of the Savior. This sacramental gesture has always been part of the ritual of baptism. John the Baptist is on the left hand side of the picture, his hair is uncombed and wears a robe of camel’s hair to suggest the harshness of desert life as he prayed and waited for the coming savior.
Jesus is shown standing in the waters as He allowed Himself to be washed in order to sanctify water for our purification.
Angels are holding cloaks in their hands playing the role of attendants during Baptism in an attitude of reverence before him Whom they serve.
At top, rays of light are shed upon the Savior, with the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove.
In the lower part of the icon is a figure representing the Red Sea linking the crossing of the Red Sea by the Hebrews toward the promised land and the baptismal waters giving salvation to believers.