Christ Pantocrator, a 6th-century encaustic icon from Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai, the oldest known Pantocrator icon in existence. The word “Pantocrator” is Greek for “all powerful,” and this icon is usually associated with Christ as the all-powerful and yet also meek and all-good judge of humankind. It is common to associate judgment with condemnation, especially since salvation often seems so far away or impossible. And yet, when Jesus was posed with this question, he refers to the all-powerfulness of God as a reason to hope! “[His disciples] were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” As the Letter to the Hebrews says, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

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