The grass withers, the flower fades... Isaiah 40:6-7
Our body is a gift of God and belongs to Him.
One cannot deliberately abuse it while alive without serious consequences, nor have it destroyed by cremation after death .
The body of a Christian is a temple of the Holy Ghost....and you are not your own.
1 Corinthians 6:20...Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Corinthians 3:16...Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
God values the body of a believer highly. Should we not do the same, as we are His creation?
If the archangel Michael quarreled with Satan over Moses' body (Jude :9), then there must be something very special about our body, even after the spirit and soul have left it.
This may be a rare incident, it still shows how important Moses' remains were. Why? Because it was Moses' identity.
Even Joseph believed his bones to be so important that he took an oath from the children of Israel, saying "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here." Genesis 50:26
Jacob's remains were brought to Canaan to be buried.
Psalm 34:20...He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken.
John 19:33... But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.
Deuteronomy 21:23... his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely "BURY" him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as inheritance.
Although this scripture does not speak about natural death at least it speaks of BURYING after death, NOT cremation. This is part of the instruction given by God.
Matthew 8:22... But Jesus said unto him, "Follow Me, and let the dead BURY their own dead".
Should we discard our mortal body through cremation, which is burning of the remains as if it is refuse, thus showing disrespect?
Genesis 3:19... For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.
It does not say to ashes you shall return. Man must not interfere with God's plan.
Isaiah 26:19...Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise . Awake and sing , ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
John 5:28... Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the GRAVES shall hear My voice.
1 Corinthians 15:37... And what you sow (bury), you do not sow that body that shall be (speaking about the Glorified body at the Resurrection), but mere grain...(the remains).
1 Corinthians 15: 42-44... So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
These scriptures show that a spiritual seed, which cannot be analyzed, is present in the mortal body. This "Seed" will manifest it's immortality at the time of the Resurrection, when the spirit and soul of the believer will be joined with the remains, at the return of Christ.
John 12:24... Jesus said:" Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abideth alone: but if it dies, it bringeth forth much fruit".
Man is compared with a grain of wheat, physically as well as spiritually. A grain of wheat, when placed in the earth, germinates and grows into stalks and ears and produces fruit. There is a power of life in this seed. But if the seed is burned, this growing process cannot be completed.
When the spirit and soul departs from the body it either goes into glory or to eternal darkness, where it awaits the last judgement. The spiritual seed, somehow, causes the spirit and soul to be connected to its BURIED body at the Resurrection.
Within our bodies there is a seed of resurrection which is invisible to the eye and which cannot be reached by the scalpel. When it is laid in the earth it ripens into resurrection, so to speak, but if cremation takes place, this seed is wantonly destroyed and cannot be brought to fruition.
Any believer who has him/herself cremated has therefore, interfered with the divine process.
Cremation is a total destruction of the identity of the remains. Deliberately burning one's remains is not Biblical and is an abomination to God, because this method is used as punishment for the wicked ones. It also is and has been the tradition of the Heathen.
Leviticus 20:14... And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
Leviticus. 21:9... And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore , she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.
Joshua 7:15 and 25... And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel. And Joshua said , Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.
Joshua 11:10-12... And Joshua at that time turned back , and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms. And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire. And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.
Isaiah 66:15,16... For behold, the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword The Lord will judge all flesh; and the slain of The Lord shall be many.
Revelation 20:15... And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 21:8... But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorceres, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
Fire is a powerful element and is a Biblical image of God's judgement. It fell from heaven as a holy fire:
- on the captain and his 50 men (II Kings 1:10)
- on Job's herds and servants (Job 1:16)
- on Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24)
- on Egypt (Exodux 9:23)
- on Nahab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:2)
- on Korah's band of men (Numbers 16:35)
- on the grumbling Israelites (Numbers 11:1)
- fire was threatened against the godless people (Hosea 8:14, Jeremiah 17:27 and Amos 7:4)
burned the bones of idolatrous priests. (2Kings 23:16+20)
King Josiah destroyed the first crematorium (II Kings 23:10), and proponents of cremation were punished by God in the Old Testament (see Amos 2:1-3).
You may ask, what about people who are burned accidently through disaster or through persecution? Martyrs are people who are forcefully robbed of their bodies for Jesus's name. The Lord is able and will restore a resurrection body to the martyrs; His blood witnesses. Did He not miraculously save His three faithful servants from the fiery furnace ? (Daniel 3:19-27; Isaiah 43:2)
The same applies to people who are killed in fires and explosions and to those who may be accidently consumed by corrosive acids. It also applies to those who were burned in ovens during the Nazi time or were destroyed by fire during communist actions. God will restore the resurrection body to all these people. Making the decision to be voluntarily cremated may be compared with committing suicide. Think about it !!
The believer in Yahweh who gives his body to be cremated is not a martyr. He/She is desecrating the body entrusted to him by God. This is serious business !!
The argument that there is no longer space enough to bury the dead or that we do not want to pollute the earth is an unacceptable excuse to God. One may even think himself: "I don't see anything wrong with cremation". Man's thoughts are not God's thoughts. One shall obey God more than man.
Cremation has never been an alternative, neither was burning of the believer's remains considered in the Bible, because it was a symbol of God's punishment against the wicked ones.
Throughout the Bible believers in Yahweh were buried, obviously making scriptures against cremation unnecessary. Also, Jesus Christ has been our example to follow. To be buried for a Believer in Christ is also an expression of the hope in the resurrection and the renewing, by the Holy Spirit, of that same body.
May the Holy Spirit bring conviction of ALL truth and may the reader be able to recognize His voice and guidance, I pray.
The purpose of this article is not to condemn, but rather to warn.
People in North America do not think much about the embalming of their remains. Most of them don't even know what it entails. Many countries in Europe do not practice modern scientific arterial embalming, as known to this continent. Some religions forbid the practice of embalming their dead, including the Jews.
Over the ages there have been different methods of embalming the body of the dead. The ancient Egyptians took up to 70 days to prepare the remains through embalming, which over years mummified. The modern scientific arterial embalming then, has little in common with the method used by the ancient Egyptians.
Modern funeral service embalming, as it is today, has commenced during the American Civil War, using solutions of heavy metal salts to preserve the bodies of war victims, so that they could be returned to their home town for burial. Afterwards, formaldehyde became available and, besides other chemical substances (embalming fluids), is used for the purpose of embalming. Formaldehyde is a powerful and very toxic substance, thus contaminating our environment.
The Israelites used perfumed ointments of myrrh in their funeral preparations to postpone the decay and alleviate the odors of the deceased. Powdered myrrh, cassia and other perfumes were used in the embalming process. This was applied to the external parts of the dead. A variety of fragrance carriers made from vegetable oils, such as olive oil and almond oil, adding essential oils made from lilies, roses, anise and orris root may also be used in this manner of embalming.
Jesus would have been embalmed according to the Jewish manner of preparation for burial, if He wouldn't have been resurrected from death.
John 19:39,40... And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
From a realistic point of view, embalming is merely delaying the inevitable. Besides, embalming is not required in most of the USA and Canada, only when the remains are transported to other States. Nevertheless, from dust we came, and to dust we return at death. (Genesis 3:19)
Modern funeral service embalming is invasive, very undignified to the deceased and an unnecessary expense to the estate or survivors. Also, modern day embalming pollutes the earth. I don't think our Lord is pleased with this. Ultimately, God is the Grantor of our bodies.
You may argue that burial is expensive, but much of this may be up to you. One doesn't need to arrange an elaborate funeral to impress others, as if this shows the love for the deceased person. The dead do not need all the frills of embalming and the expensive casket (which only will be exposed for 3 days).
Before others take over the decision what is done with your remains (or that of your loved ones), please read the detailed summary of what modern embalming is all about and the reasons why, at the links below.
My intention of this writing is to lead you back to God's perspective of death and burial... the natural way.
Whatever your cultural background may be, or what your relatives and friends may tell you: Allow God's Spirit to influence your heart, and soul, and let your desire be to please the Almighty God and Father.
The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD. Psalm 115:17,18