Judith was a lovely lady. She was the heart and soul of every party, always entertaining people and cooking meals for the kids from the local estate. She volunteered as the local lollipop lady, helping the same children cross the road, and looked out for the parents whom she had known as children at local schools years previously. Her own children were grown up now, and had families of their own, all of whom looked up to Judith and longed to spend their holidays with her and her husband.

It all happened so quickly after that. The diagnosis was followed by a few treatment options which just made her more sick. With in six weeks of being diagnosed Judith was dead. At Judith’s funeral, the crematorium was packed. People of all ages wanted to come and talk to Judith’s family about the ways in which she had helped them — often when no-one else would. No-one could understand why such a tragic thing could happen to such a giving and compassionate member of the community.

The Easter story is about the final days of Jesus’ life. It is about acute suffering and anguish. It is about the isolation that Jesus felt in the midst of his pain, and it includes the fact that however close his friends were to him, they really did not understand the reality of what he was enduring.

Jesus encouraged people to live in hope and experience a good life, and yet the end of his life’s story includes rejection, loneliness, misunderstanding, overwhelming isolation, betrayal, agony, unbearable pain, being drugged and death. The story of Jesus’ final days tells of someone who chose to suffer on behalf of other people.