I remember the moment Christ became real to me.

It was a Sunday morning. I was in college. And a friend of mine dragged me to a church service — one unlike any that I’d ever experienced.

I grew up Catholic, and the church I was used to was pretty traditional. This service that my friend dragged me to was weird.

We were in a gym on campus. People were rocking out to a band. College kids were jumping and singing and clapping to songs about Jesus. It was loud, goofy looking, and I was not impressed.

I stood there with my arms crossed, a frown on my face, and mad as hell at my friend for dragging me there.

This was the first time I’d ever heard anyone other than a Catholic priest deliver a sermon. I drowned the speaker out with angry thoughts and hatred for having to be there.

But then something happened.

Someone stood up at a microphone and began reading a detailed, medical description of Christ’s death on the cross.

I’d believed in Jesus. I’d believed He died on the cross. I’d seen pictures and statues of the crucified Christ my entire life. And even though I believed, I’d never really experienced Jesus outside of a two-dimensional depiction.

As the speaker told of the nails cutting through flesh, nerves and muscles, I started to squirm.

The words were gruesome. Bloody. Uncomfortable to hear.

As the person continued, he described the excruciating pain Christ suffered when  he had to push His broken body upward on nailed feet to gasp a drowning breath. I started to cry.

At that moment, Christ was real.

No longer was He just a painting or a story or a sculpture of polished marble.

He was real. He was a man. He was God.

He was the Messiah who walked the earth and loved people unconditionally.

And, because of sin, He suffered the most horrendous death anyone could imagine. For me.

So many people are living like I was. Christ is still an idea — or simply an historical figure that exists only as black type on the thin pages of a Bible. He’s not real to them.

Words are powerful. Stories are powerful. Share your stories. Use them to help make Christ real to those who are listening.

How are you using words and stories to share Christ?

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