One of my favourite movies is Starman, which was released in 1984, and starred Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen. Last week I watched Starman for the first time in several years. I was surprised when I noticed things in the film that I have missed in the past, some of which reminded me of Jesus and His experience of life on earth. For a start the Starman travelled to earth and took on human form. Soon after arriving the Starman assessed that earth was a hostile environment, and sent a distress signal requesting extraction. It was at this point that the obvious similarities with Jesus taking human form ended. The environment was certainly hostile for Jesus when He was born, to the extent that He became a refugee in Egypt. When the family eventually relocated to Nazareth, the main issue for Jesus was probably living as a Jew under Roman rule. The real hostility began when Jesus began His ministry, and it increased steadily up to the point that Jesus was crucified.
The Starman had three days to make it across the US to the designated extraction point. He undertook the journey with Jenny Hayden, who was initially an unwilling companion. They were soon being pursued by law enforcement and US government agencies. During the journey, Jenny Hayden began to warm to the Starman. The turning point was when Jenny witnessed the Starman bringing a dead deer back to life. From this moment Jenny did everything she could to help the Starman reach the extraction point on time. In doing so she received a fatal gunshot wound, but the Starman restored Jenny Hayden’s life too.
The film ends as the Starman says goodbye to Jenny and is rescued. Before he leaves, the Starman makes it clear that he has seen something very special in the human race, despite his view that humanity is a savage and primitive life form. This made me wonder about God’s view of us. God created us but gave us the will to reject or accept Him. But despite receiving more rejection than acceptance, when God looks at us He sees something very, very special. So special that God was prepared to allow His Son to take on human form and experience hostility first as a baby and toddler, and then during three years of itinerant ministry. Why would God do such a thing? Why would Jesus want to tread dusty roads for three years knowing that the authorities were plotting a future of torture culminating in cruel execution? Isn’t it incredible that God could see something that special in humanity? Even more amazing is the fact that God is addicted to loving us.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (1 John 4:9-10 NLT)