Did Jesus die for aliens, too?

Question 191, from Ben

I’ve read a report that some scientists say there might have been life on Mars around 4 billion years ago. I’m curious as to how learning of life on other planets would link with Christian theology; for instance, did Jesus die for creatures on other planets?

The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has yet to turn up any proof of alien intelligence, and even if it did, the vast distances between stars mean it unlikely there will ever be meaningful contact with creatures from other planets.

Theoretically the existence of life elsewhere in the universe is compatible with Christian theology. In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI’s official astronomer, Father Jose Funes discussed the possibility of life being created by God on other planets and that such life would be covered by the death of Christ. (more…)