Pods, Aliens, and the Incarnation

by Sue Bohlin

Cocoon-Brian DennehyThere 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 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…

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