Palm Sunday is long gone. Maundy Thursday is over. It’s not Good Friday. It’s not Easter Sunday.
It’s just Nothing Day.
To His followers on this day 1,975 years ago, Jesus was dead and buried in a signet-sealed tomb; His washed and wrapped body surrounded by a hundred pounds of fragrant spices. It was over.
Nothing has made Nothing Day more real to me than a scene from a play called Resurrection by then-student Jonathan Cloud, performed at Harding University many years ago. Since there was a dearth of male actors available, a few friends of the college were recruited from the community, and I was cast as Matthew.
In that scene, the disciples have slunk back to their rented upper room from their fearful scattering, and now mourn His torturous death the day before in relative silence, punctuated by ponderings about things He has said about returning.
Matthew puts his voice to what they’re all thinking, though: “He said He’d come back … but He never did. Now …”
When I spoke the words in dress rehearsal, I burst into tears, suddenly feeling all of the pain and despair and frustration that the disciples must have felt. My friend Keith Sliter, portraying a burly apostle Andrew with the next line, nearly came apart – but waited until the scene was over to pull me aside: “Are you all right? You’ve got to warn me when you’re going to do something like that.”
“I couldn’t,” I said. He put a hand on my shoulder. “I understand.”
The same thing happened at every performance. I couldn’t help it. It wasn’t method acting. It was just something that went too deep for words.