This ancient iconography is very profound; it encapsulates the true Easter message; death and resurrection; the gift of Christian Hope that all we baptised believe is ours forever, with Him, in heaven when we die.
Jesus descends into the underworld after his death. We see him surrounded by the key characters of the Old Testament – the royalty, the prophets and law-givers. Under him all the instruments of death are falling into the abyss with the bound-up Satan.
Yet his first task – quite phenomenologically – is to take Adam and Eve physically by the hand and to wrench their bodies from the grave.
My mother always told me that ‘we are on this earth for but a short time, on our way to our eternal reward’. As I head towards eighty, her words ring ever loudly.