Post Author: Riverside Church

At Riverside we are on a journey to help people get to know Jesus and grow as his followers across Birmingham and beyond. Whoever you are, whatever you believe, you're so welcome in this community.
March 8, 2024
Letting The Light In | Series Outline

At Easter, we remember the pinnacle moment in history. The landmark events at the cross shifted everything. Jesus shattered death, overcame evil and dealt with our sin. But, we don’t tend to think as much about how the events running up to that first Easter can help us today. When we go through some darker moments in life, the cross gives real, dazzling light. Join us for this 3-part series, to let the light of that first Easter into our darkness today.

‘The worst thing is never the last thing.’ (Frederick Büchner)

Series Outline

10 March

Session 1: Betrayal
John – Chapter 18, verses 1-11

When someone you trust lets you down, and betrays that trust, it can be one of the most devastating events in life. It is disorientating and gutwrenching. It’s one of the reasons why the TV series, The Traitors, has become so popular – it gets to the core of some of our most complex emotions, and painful experiences.

 A few short words in the bible remind us that Jesus understands all about betrayal. As Jesus is praying one night in a garden, with a few of his closest friends nearby, we read the words, ‘So Judas came to the garden…’ (John 18:3). And with that, the rest is history. And yet, rather than resist the betrayal, he goes on to almost willing embrace it (John 18:11). In the same moment that Jesus identifies with our feelings of being betrayed, we catch a glimpse that betrayal doesn’t have to be the end of the story, after all.

 “When a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward.” (C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)

17 March

Session 2: Abandonment 
John – Chapter 18, verses 15-27

Every now and again you hear a truly tragic story about a person being abandoned by those who are meant to look after them. Most of us will never face such tragedy. But on a much smaller scale, at various times in life, we can all feel a bit abandoned. Whether it be our friends, family, spouses or employers, many of us identify with feeling abandoned, forgotten or ignored.

As he approached the cross, Jesus went from being heralded by the crowds to being all alone. Even those closest to him abandoned him. But, as if that wasn’t enough, we remember the words he cried on the cross, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.’ To feel forsaken not just by your closet friends, but by the God of the universe. That is abandonment! But, what if that completely changes how we see our own feeling so being abandoned, forgotten or ignored.

‘And when you suffer, you may be completely in the dark about the reason for your own suffering… But the cross tells you what the reason isn’t. It can’t be that God doesn’t love you; it can’t be that he has no plan for you. It can’t be that he has abandoned you. Jesus was abandoned, and paid for our sins, so that God the Father would never abandon you.’ (Timothy Keller)

24 March

Session 3: Injustice
John – Chapter 18, verses 28-40

Being a victim of injustice feels devastating. Not only is not fair, it feels as though there is no way to make it right. We feel vulnerable and as though the ground has been taken from under our feet. We know it wasn’t fair. An no-one else seems to care.

 As Jesus approached the cross, he experienced the ultimate humiliation – being completely innocent, and yet treated as scum. And, at the hands of the rulers of his nation and in front of the world. And yet, as he experiences that supreme injustice, it gives a beautiful hope to all who suffer injustice around the world.

 “So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?” John 18:29





Riverside is a church made up of people from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences all with one thing in common, our discovery of God and his amazing love. 

We are on a journey together to ‘help people get to know Jesus and grow as his followers’. 

Upcoming Events:

Full information about all the upcoming events at Riverside Church can obtained from the events page of our website. You can filter via ‘Featured‘, ‘Monthly‘ or ‘Weekly‘ or you can also view ALL events and filter by category using our ‘Church Calendar‘.

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