Larry Norman once sang these words:
The bible was written in a time when the world was flat, the sun orbited the earth and stars were small lights that lit up the night. The very concept of other planets, let alone other planets capable of supporting life, had not yet been conceived. Everything in the bible relates to us - earthbound humans."...and if there's life on other planets then I'm sure that He must know and He's been there once already and has died to save their souls..."Song: 'UFO' from the album: 'In Another Land' (1976)
But what if there is life on other planets?
We know that 'Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring [us] to God' (1 Peter 3v18). But does Christ's sacrifice on this planet atone for the sins of the whole universe? Or is it like Larry Norman says, that Christ will have had to die on all other inhabited (and fallen) planets to save them too?
I'm pretty sure that there are other inhabited planets out there in the universe, probably loads of them. Has Christ died loads of times?
Or is it like C.S. Lewis describes it in his 'Out of the silent planet' trilogy - where only earth has fallen and all other planets are in harmony with God?
I realise there is no way we can actually come up with a definite answer to this question, but I'm interested in the opinions of my regular readers (I know some of you read sci-fi, so you must have opinions on such things...), so what do you think?
My take on it is this - it must be a once for all sacrifice. If there are beings on other planets in need of salvation then Christ must have been incarnated there as well - at the same time - and all the various incarnations of him must have been crucified (or whatever the local execution method might have been) simultaneously. However, I don't hold to this opinion very strongly, I'm sure I could be persuaded out of it by intelligent reasoning... ;o)