That’s what one organization aspired to bring to over a hundred million football fans across the world. For years the phrase “John 3:16” has been seen at various NFL and college football games, displayed by fans on signs in the endzone, and on players shoes, ankle tape, sweatbands, and tattoos. When Tim Tebow wore it in his eye black at the Jan 2009 championship game, the phrase became the number one Google search for the evening.
Surprisingly, many fans don’t know what John 3:16 means or represents.
To encourage fans to discover the meaning of the message, LookUp316 created a national commercial to air during Super Bowl XLV. Though the commercial does not contain any direct or audible reference God or Christ, Fox Sports rejected it on the basis that it contained “religious doctrine.”
In a world obsessed with getting ahead, splurging, and overindulgence, we laughingly watch and rate Super Bowl commercials that poke fun at our desires, that falsely promise us happiness if we buy a product, that suggest our longings will be fulfilled as men objectify and hypersexualize women, and with commercials that include URLS containing the warning, “web content unrated.” It’s ironic that this simple message offering hope is denied from reaching people who may be struggling to find their peace or place in this world.
The LookUp316 website displays the scripture verse, then offers visitors the opportunity to read straightforward, simple answers to three basic questions we’ve all experienced at various points in our lives:
Why is this world not quite right?
Is there any hope?
So what can be done?
The tone of the answers doesn’t support one denomination of Christianity over another. It simply offers, in a gentle way for reflection, that hope is given to the world in the message: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
LookUp316 is the creation of Fixed Point Foundation, a non-profit hoping to bridge the secular and the sacred by promoting a confident Christianity.