It had never really been a secret, He had written it into the very fabric of the universe. Night was followed by day and winter by spring. Caterpillars changed into butterflies and crops sprang up anew for another season of harvest. Death, that terrible dark vacuum that sucked up all life, appeared to be sovereign on this mortal earth, but it was only an appearance. To see the early bulbs thrust their way through the lingering snow, or the new buds form on trees as dry as the weight of years, was to see another story, hidden below the surface yet constantly breaking out as if the joy beyond all things could not contain itself.
And so, in the fullness of time, He came. He came unto His own and His own did not receive Him. They did not know what to do with One who was both utterly one of them and utterly different. They did not know what to do with such love that flamed forth from Him in its purity, unmitigated by human doubt or confused self-interest. They wanted His gifts, but they feared the One who gave them, for how can you receive from such largesse and hold yourself aloof? Down the long centuries they had struck their own cold bargain with death, a lifetime of power and self-aggrandisement in the fleeting sunshine before the night descended.
So they bore him down to death, unleashing all their anger and pain and hatred upon Him, and in their fury they did not even notice that He was walking willingly along the path where they were hounding him. For why would any man, whose days are so short and whose cup is so bitter, run willingly to death, where there is no more spring rain or sweet fruit upon the tongue? For the one thing they could never imagine was that He was doing it for them.
But He did. He walked into their darkness and became one of them. He who was light and lightness, and love in its pure, unmitigated power, the Word who spoke worlds into being became flesh, became powerless under the bludgeoning weight of their depravity. The life who was the light of men fell, as one bound and helpless, into the void of the everlasting darkness of death, and it seemed to those few who watched, with their eyes befogged with tears, that death had swallowed up life, and had dominion over Him.
No, it only seemed that way, for just three days, for a mere flicker in the towering aeons of time. Then the secret that had been whispered in creation for centuries was shouted aloud to the furthest stars, and only humanity was deaf. The stone was rolled away and Love emerged triumphant. And death was swallowed up in Life. There was confusion, and disbelief, but underneath it, bubbling up like an unstoppable fountain, was joy beyond words and glory past human containment. Judgement had been assuaged, evil had been atoned, and there was nothing in all creation outside of His mastery. The promise, whispered so long, was fulfilled, humanity was restored, and He who had suffered was utterly victorious.