Detail from 14th century Bishop Despenser’s Reredos, Norwich Cathedral, England
The Resurrection is the final proof that love is stronger than hate. The Resurrection proves life is stronger than death. If Jesus had died never to rise again it would have proved that death could take the loveliest and best life that ever lived and finally break it. During the Second World War a certain city church in London was all set out for harvest thanksgiving. In the centre of the gifts was a sheaf of corn. The service was never held, for, on Saturday night a savage air raid laid the church in ruins. The months passed and spring came, and someone noticed that, on the bomb site where the church has stood, there were shoots of green. The Summer came and the shoots flourished and in the autumn there was a flourishing patch of corn growing amidst the rubble. Not even the bombs and the destruction could kill the life of the corn and its seeds. The Resurrection is the final proof that life is stronger than death.
Paul insisted that if the Resurrection of Jesus was not a fact the whole Christian message was based on a lie, that many had died trusting in a delusion, that without it the greatest values in life have no guarantee. “Take away the Resurrection,” he said, “and you destroy both the foundation and the fabric of the Christian Faith”.
William Barclay The Daily Study Bible – The Letter to the Corinthians, p149
The Despenser Reredos – found in the beautiful Norwich Cathedral
Located behind the altar in the St Luke’s Chapel is a superb painted altar piece. This was a gift to the cathedral of Bishop Despenser, given in gratitude for the failure of the 1381 Peasant’s Revolt. It is among the finest pieces of late 14th century art in Europe, and depicts in 5 panels scenes from the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ.