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The Rest of the Story – By Dr. Glenn Cummings

I used to enjoy the radio spots that Paul Harvey had entitled “The Rest of the Story.”  Beginning as a part of his newscasts during the Second World War and then premiering as its own series on the ABC Radio Networks on May 10, 1976, “The Rest of the Story” consisted of stories presented as little-known or forgotten facts on a variety of subjects with some key element of the story (usually the name of some well-known person) held back until the end. The broadcasts always concluded with a variation on the tag line “And now you know the rest of the story.”
 
Christmas has come and gone for 2018, and how we have been thrilled again at the story of the star, the shepherds and the Savior.  We love to get in our minds the picture of the baby lying in the manger, the shepherds kneeling, the angels singing, and the stars shining.  But the story of Christmas is not the complete story of Jesus.
 
Most stories have three parts – an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.  The story of Jesus has 3 chapters, with Christmas being the first. The first chapter is about God coming to identify with us in a human body.  Maybe John 1:1 says it best, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”  We must understand that the baby born of the virgin Mary in that lowly stable was none other than God who had come in human flesh.  John 1:14 says “and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
 
The second chapter is about a Savior who died on a cross.  We cannot leave Jesus in the manger.  The cradle without the cross is useless to me.  I needed a perfect sacrifice who could die for my sin.  Jesus was God’s proof positive that He loved this world. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”  Jesus was not given out of desperation or obligation, but out of love. Jesus died not only for me, but He died instead of me.  “He who knew no sin became sin for me.” Jesus died the death of a criminal.  You see, we are all spiritual felons without Jesus.
 
It reminds me of 2 young men who studied law together and one of them rose to a seat on the judicial bench, while the other man became an alcoholic and wasted his life.  On one occasion, the drunkard was brought before his old friend and charged with a crime.  The lawyers present wondered what kind of justice would be administered by the judge.  To their surprise, he sentenced his old friend to the heaviest penalty the law would allow.  He then walked down from the bench and paid the fine himself and set his old friend free.
 
That is exactly what Jesus did for me.  He came down out of glory and went to the cross and paid the penalty for my sin. Why? So that I might be set free.
 
Then, the last chapter of the book about Jesus shows us that we can’t leave Jesus in the manger or on the cross.  In the final chapter, we see Jesus with a crown.  We are told in Philippians 2:9-11 that “God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name.  That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”  You see, there is coming a day when everyone will bow to the ruling and reigning Lord. Why not accept Him today?
 
Now, you know the rest of the story.

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