The San Francisco 49ers squeaked into the Conference Championships last Sunday with their 24-21 win over the Green Bay Packers.

On Sunday, Jan. 28, the 49ers will face off against the Detroit Lions at 4:30 PM MT. The winner will head to Super Bowl LVIII which is scheduled for Feb. 11 at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada to face either the Kansas City Chiefs of the Baltimore Ravens.

49ers quarterback Brock Purdy has experienced quite the comeback during his two years in the NFL.

Purdy was drafted by the 49ers as the very last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft – earning him the title “Mr. Irrelevant.”

To say the least, Purdy’s professional football career wasn’t off to a great start. He began his rookie season as the 49ers third-string quarterback behind Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo.

But after both Lance and Garoppolo were injured during the 2022 season, Purdy took over as the Niners’ starting quarterback. He proceeded to win all five of the regular season games he started, before helping his team win a division title and appear at the NFC Championship Game.

His talent no longer under-noticed, Purdy began the 2023 NFL season as the team’s starting quarterback; he’s led the Niners to a solid 13-5 winning record and a repeat division title. Now, he and his team have a shot at appearing in the Super Bowl.

Purdy’s success – even more remarkable considering how he started his NFL career – has earned him a more respectable nickname: “Mr. Relevant.”

Some may wonder what’s caused Purdy to make such a comeback? Was it extra training? A change in mindset? Pure luck?

If you ask Purdy, it’s not what has made a difference, but Who. For Purdy, Jesus Christ has helped him get to this level.

“This is who God has called me to be. I believe that Jesus Christ did come down and died for my sins and rose again,” Purdy said in a recent interview. “And He’s living and sitting beside God on the throne.”

“I believe that. It’s not just some story [or] fairy tale. It’s real,” Purdy said, adding,

And it allows me to stay levelheaded and real with life and I know what my purpose is. So that all has allowed me to play my game and allowed me to play football at this level.

The 24-year-old quarterback has something that many people his age lack: perspective.

Purdy has had to earn his spot in the NFL through hard work and diligent practice – and he surely knows that what is given, can quickly be taken away.

But Purdy’s life is not set on the foundation of football, it’s set upon a firm foundation – faith in Jesus Christ.

In 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul wrote,

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me” (1 Cor. 15:3-8, ESV).

Biblical scholars note that Paul’s writings serve as a primary source; he witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ because he (besides seeing the risen Christ) heard from the Apostles who served as eyewitness accounts of the resurrection – the Apostles Peter, James and John (Gal. 2:1-9).

As Dr. Michael Licona, Associated Professor of Theology at Houston Baptist University has pointed out, if you combine Paul’s letters, the four Gospel accounts and the writings of the early church fathers,

We have a very nice collection of primary sources we can use in a historical investigation of Jesus’ resurrection. At the very minimum, these inform us the apostles were proclaiming that Jesus had been raised bodily from the dead and had appeared to them in individual and group settings, to friend and foe alike.

As Christians, we believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe the Christ is living and active, and that because of Him – death does not have the last word over us.

The reality of the living Christ – and the reality that we all await a life to come – makes all the difference. It changes how we live, how we love, and gives us a virtue that only the Holy Spirit can provide: hope.

We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8: 23-25, ESV).

Congratulations to Purdy on the successful season, and good luck at the Conference Championships.

If you’re having doubts about your faith, Focus on the Family is here to help. Consider the following resources.

To check out C.S. Lewis’ classic Mere Christianity, click here. You can also check out Focus on the Family’s award winning Radio Theater: C.S. Lewis at War by clicking here.

You can also check out the book The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus by clicking here.

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Related articles and resources:

The Proof You Need to Believe in Jesus Christ (Part 1 of 2)

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus

The Case for Christ

Dawkins Admits: ‘May be Still Something for Me to Learn About Religion.’

Evidence for the Resurrection

The Resurrection of Jesus Matters

Mere Christianity

Radio Theatre: C.S. Lewis at War

Focus on the Family: Faith

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