Of course, this was accompanied by a speech, albeit a surprisingly short one. In this speech, Mr. Obama revealed to everyone who was listening what his take on the true meaning of the Christmas season is:
During times of peace and prosperity, challenge and change, Americans have gathered around our national tree to kick off the holiday season and give thanks for everything that makes this time of year so magical — spending time with friends and family, and spreading tidings of peace and goodwill here at home and around the world. (emphasis mine)Sadly (but not unexpectedly), Mr. Obama completely misses the true ‘why’ of the magic of the Christmas season: it isn’t magical because we spend time with family, nor is it magical because we pass along tidings of peace and goodwill.
No, Christmas is a magical time because it marks the birth of a Child. An extraordinary Child; one in Whom both humanity and divinity combined. His mother was a human being; His Father was the Creator God. This extraordinary Child would grow into an extraordinary Man, who would change the world.
And how did this Man accomplish this? Not, as Mr. Obama maintains, because He was humble, nor because He preached compassion, nor because He healed whomever came to Him of their crippling ailments. Had this been all He came to accomplish, He never would have made the ‘supreme sacrifice’ on the rough wood of a cross on a hill named Golgotha.
To discover why His appearance on our planet was summed up by the angel who spoke to the shepherds in the fields around the little town of Bethlehem: ‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’ (Luke 2:11). He was sent by His Father, God, to save His people. But to save them from what? Their pride? Their lack of compassion for their fellow man? From poor physical health?
He was sent by His Father to save His people from their sins. He was a propitiation, He took the place of His people before His Father, taking upon Himself our sins, because, as the God-man, He was the only adequate sacrifice; the blood of sheep and the blood of calves wasn’t enough – the blood of the God-man was.
This is the ‘magic’ of the Christmas season: that God loved His people so greatly, He sent His only Son to be a sacrifice for them, to stand as propitiation for the sins of His people.