A clergy colleague recently posted an interesting photo on Facebook:
Making whimsical use of the 1997 hit song "Tumpthumping" by the British band Chumbabwumba, this is again a really simplistic, but yet accurate, statement about Jesus' death and resurrection (which the hit song really is not even remotely about). The multiple forces-- local and cosmic, immediate and historical, contextual and universal--conspired not only to knock Jesus down--but to knock Jesus out. Death is usually the final reality. But as the Bible reminds us (Song of Solomon 8:6b): "love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave". Jesus, in The Passion narrative, went to the cross and demonstrated this.
We know that this is true. Those who have died are still with us, in our hearts, in our minds, in our actions and priorities and decisions, because their love for us and our love for them, expressed in life on Earth, is love that is still active, still working, still guiding. The eternal love poured out by the one who IS love incarnate, is somehow even that much more powerful--and death couldn't hold it, or him. And because he got knocked down, but got up again, so can we, as we share in that triumph of love being as strong as death, passion as fierce as the grave.
And we truly are reminded of just what a "comeback" this is if we go through all of emotions and reminders of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. From never ending love promised and symbols to keep engaging with to affirm that (Holy Communion), to denial and betrayal in the most vulnerable time, to mock trial and the most painful execution possible, to utter despair, to complete restoration in ways impossible and liberating and forgiving--all of this happens in those days, and our best attempts to recall and commemorate and celebrate them. It's bigger than any of us can fully comprehend--but what we can try to comprehend is love that doesn't let us go, no matter how much we try to push it away.
Read the "Passion Narrative". Matthew 21-28. Or Mark 11-16. Or Luke 19-24. It's the story that makes our stories possible.