The Louisiana Superdome. Exactly twenty years ago. Biggest game of the year. The New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams are tied at 17 points with only a few seconds remaining on the clock in Super Bowl XXXVI.
Tom Brady spikes the ball to stop the clock at the St. Louis 33-yard line. On the final play of the game, New England kicker Adam Vinatieri boots the ball through the uprights, giving New England its very first Super Bowl championship in franchise history. Here’s the following day’s headline in the Boston Globe:
Below is a small selection of some of my favorite books that I read throughout the year. I’ll include a link to each book (there are nine of them), a short explanation for why I enjoyed the book so much, as well as a select quote or two.
(Disclaimer: My inclusion of any author on a list like this shouldn’t be taken as my tacit endorsement of everything this person may have ever said or written in their life. Got it? Good…)
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
At the core of the “good news” of Jesus Christ, there is this fantastic exchange where Jesus takes on our sin, and we get his righteousness.
If you have been a churchgoer for a considerable length of time, this is a teaching you have likely heard dozens, if not hundreds, if not thousands of times.
But here’s the thing. While we can believe this to be true in our minds, it’s very easy for this teaching, as profound and beautiful as it is, to stay in our heads and not penetrate the soul where it actually can transform the way we live on a moment-by-moment basis.
For one thing, to a lot of people, this whole message of salvation just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Even if a person intellectually assents to this belief and begins following Jesus, there can still be nagging questions.
“Why did Jesus have to die for me to be saved? How does his death save me?”
Many have trouble connecting the dots. And for some people, because they can’t understand what happened on the cross, it makes it harder for the beauty of Calvary to get on the inside and feel like a real thing.