ARMA CHRISTI

 

The 'Arma Christi' was a very popular iconographic theme from the later Middle Ages, to help Christians meditating the Passion of Christ.

 

 

 

 

1.The Cock: Peter was reminded by the crowing of the cock that Jesus predicted his denial: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”

 

2.The Scourge:  although Pilate found “no cause in him” he had him scourged and then crucified.

 

3.The Crown of Thorns was put on Christ’s head and He was given a reed (last image) to mock him as “King of the Jews”.  The Hebrew Letter MEM is woven into the crown of thorns on the last image, MEM being the first letter of the word ”MELEK”, meaning “king” in Hebrew.

The gold above the crown of thorns in the first image is a reminder that Jesus is “the King of Glory”, a title given to God in the Old Testament.

 

4.The Veil : according to tradition, Veronica offered Jesus her veil to wipe His face while He was carrying His Cross and His image was imprinted on the veil. The name “Veronica” is a combination of the two words “Vera”(true) and “icon”(image).

 

5.The Nails.

 

6.The Cross of Jesus had the inscription as commanded by Pilate: “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews“ in Latin, Hebrew and Greek.

 

7.The Dice and the Robe  refer to the soldiers casting lots for his Robe, as described in the Gospels and  Psalm 22..

 

8.The Reed with Sponge on which they gave Him vinegar to drink when he was thirsty, fulfilling the Scriptures.

 

9..The Lance was used after the death of Jesus to pierce His side before taking Him from the Cross. In the Gospels a reference is made again to fulfilling prophesies about the Messiah in the Old Testament,  (John 19, 34 and Zac.12,10)

 

10. The ladder is a sign of the Passion, especially of the Deposition, Descent, or removal of Christ from the Cross (Mt 27:57-61; Mk 15:42-47; Lk 23:50-56; John 19:38-42).

 

 

Drawings on canvas 30x30cm., in charcoal and ink, by Judy Racz.

 

Other works by this artist can be viewed on the Internet:

 

www.members.optusnet.com.au/judy_racz