Pods, Aliens, and the Incarnation
There is a moment in the 1985 sci-fi movie Cocoon that has haunted me for 25 years now. Senior citizens discover that the water in the pool they’ve been swimming in has a marvelously rejuvenating effect on them. Aliens have stashed the cocoon pods of their cohorts in the bottom of the pool of a rented house, awaiting their return to the mother ship.
These aliens are light-filled, radiant creatures who cover themselves in human skin to pass as one of us.
The moment in the film that has stayed with me all this time is when the lead alien, played by Brian Dennehy, checks his human disguise in the mirror. He pulls down his lower eyelid, revealing the light within that shoots out in a beam. I gasped internally: what a picture of the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. (John 1:14)
When the Lord Jesus wrapped Himself in human flesh and entered our world, He did not leave His glory behind—He covered it up. “Glory” can mean splendor and brilliance and magnificence, but it also connotes the essential nature of a person or thing. Jesus brought His essential nature of the eternally existent Father’s Son into His human body, into our world. John 1 tells us that Jesus brought with Him—because He is—life, light, truth, fullness. He embodies the things our broken souls long for.
I love the Incarnation. I love the fact that Jesus entered into our “garbage pail” of human darkness and brokenness to redeem it all. I love that He brought His light and His glory into our blindness and lifelessness. But (in the famous words of the TV infomercials) . . . “That’s not all!”
I am still amazed that not only did the Lord of glory “tabernacle among us” (John 1:14), not only did He pitch His tent in our midst, He gladly sets up house inside us! When we accept the Father, Son and Spirit’s invitation to join Their circle of divine love and joy and fellowship and community, He brings His glory inside of us! Literally!
Suddenly, the image of the light inside the Brian Dennehy/alien character is not just about Jesus being light on the inside and human flesh on the outside, it’s a picture of “Christ in [us], the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). He brings HIS light inside of us.
Amazing. Staggering. And yet it’s real, it’s true, and if we lived it out, if we lived an incarnational life of allowing Jesus to express the love and glory of God through what we think and say and do, the people in our lives would think, “Where do I get me some of that??”
Oh Lord Jesus! Deepen my understanding of this truth so that I continually choose to let You live Your glory through me, drawing others to Yourself!
This blog post originally appeared at blogs.bible.org/tapestry/sue_bohlin/pods_aliens_and_the_incarnation on Feb. 1, 2011