Even though we may never find our fellow sentient beings*, due to the enormous size of space-time and the brevity of our lives, these cultures certainly exist, existed, and will exist in the Universe. All those beings, don’t they need to be saved?
The insect civilization of Aldebaran IV, from the constellation of the Bull, 65 light-years from here, had or will have, like our planet, the visit of a Son of God, in the form of a conscient insect (beings on this planet would not really be insects, but let's call them by that name, because that’s what they look like). The Insect Jesus will not perhaps be crucified, but he will have another horrible death corresponding to the customs and traditions of that culture.
The intelligent octopus of Vega XVI in Lyra, distant 25 light-years, will also have access to the message of salvation, a visit of the Son of God Jesus Octopus, which, once again, may not have as destiny the cross, but the particular torments of this octopus civilization.
More normal will be the Jesus of the green apes of Mintaka VII, also called Delta Orionis, one of the Three Sisters of the Belt of Orion, much further away, 900 light-years. But the crucifixion does not work with them, since, unlike Earthly Homo Sapiens, they can climb trees, poles and buildings with great ease. Certainly they invented their own, equally cruel, ways of torturing and murdering each other.
Throughout our Milky Way, there must be millions of suns shining, in strange wavelengths, to races of many shapes, although capable of consciousness and therefore also in need of salvation. But our galaxy is just one. Throughout the Universe, there are more galaxies than the grains of sand on an Earth beach. The Children of God will then be many millions, billions, trillions...
So the Passion of Christ is constantly being played around the Cosmos, for the histories of these cultures do not naturally happen at the same time. Some began well before us, others are our contemporaries – add or take away a million years – others more have not even begun. For many future civilizations, the solar systems that will be their homes are still coalescing from the cosmic dust. Fore some cultures, even the galaxies where they lived have already disappeared.
God the Father must have multitudes of children, like a cosmic queen bee. And the office of Jesus Christ must be a full-time job per omnia secula seculorum.
Perhaps all this myriad of Jesuses is just one, a multiple person scattered throughout space-time, but I do not envy him if his job is to suffer torture and multiple deaths in strange and original but always very unpleasant ways.
You can say that I, being an atheist, have no right to meddle in Christian theology. But the truth is that I am only trying to help Christians think about the consequences of applying a narrative from two thousand years ago - when almost nothing was known about the world - to the present time, with the awareness we now have of the astonishing extent, age and diversity of the Universe.
I advise Christians to think about this (but they may not want to think about it, as they have that right too).
* On an idea by Umberto Eco, in the novel "The Island of the Day Before". [Back to the top]