So your little spacecraft catches the top of a xylon tree, and crashes with a terrifying splintering into the thick undergrowth. There you lie, half in and half out of your cockpit, trapped and in great pain, breathing the strange air of planet Eremos.
Hours later you hear a rustling in the bushes; something heading your way in a hurry, beating back the undergrowth. Could this be help? But what kind of rescuer could you expect on this strange planet? What kind of creature is approaching? Even if it wants to help will it talk your language, will it understand what you need, will it know how to help you?
What a relief then to see the bushes part and a man appear. It’s an earthling! He looks like you. He’s dressed as you are. He calls out, “Are you alright? Hold on there!” Here’s someone who understands human bones and blood, and cries and tears, someone who knows what you need. He’s one of us!
When God comes to rescue men and women how does he come? As an alien being? As one of the other creatures he has made – perhaps a strong lion or a friendly dolphin? No, he comes as a man. Jesus is God in the flesh – but it is human flesh. He’s one of us!
Why does this matter? Because the rescue cannot succeed otherwise. We human beings have got ourselves and our world into the mess that we’re in. A human being must get us out, but there is no man on earth who can do this – we’re all trapped and injured in the wreck of our spaceship.
So God becomes man. Jesus is the man who lives the life that all men should live but none do. Jesus is the man who takes on himself God’s just punishment of the rebellion of all men. Jesus is the man who goes where no man has been able to go before, breaking through death and emerging victorious on the other side with the prototype new life that can never be destroyed.
And he does all this for his brothers; it is his rescue mission to fellow human-beings.
The rescuer has arrived and he’s one of us!