The Bible doesn’t prohibit the practice of cremation.
History has demonstrated that the handling of the deceased body has varied from culture to culture over time. The methods also vary—from embalming by the early Egyptians, to immediate burial which was the custom of the Jewish people. No matter what method is employed, the results will be the same: “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen 3:19b KJV). Given enough time, dead bodies decompose and return to the elements from which they came. Cremation is just an expedited method that produces the same results.
Scripture gives no direct commandment about how to dispose of a dead body, so the methods used today are a matter of personal preference according to the wishes of the family. Because there is no directive about this subject, cremation can certainly be an option. In much of the world, deaths are accompanied with some kind of memorial service. Some can be quite elaborate and expensive, and cremation can be a lower-cost alternative where money is an issue.
For some Christians, there is concern over the teaching that if the dead are cremated, there will be no body for God to then raise up for them in the resurrection. However, when we consider that all dead bodies eventually return to dust, this becomes a moot point. There are countless believers buried over the ages whose bodies have now become dust, no different than if they had been cremated in the first place. But God’s promise to restore them in the Resurrection remains just as true no matter how their bodies are laid to rest.
Scripture gives us even more comfort concerning the dead: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22 KJV). The promise we have about the resurrection of the dead “in Christ”is that even though all the dead corrupt back to dust, “it is raised in incorruption” (1 Cor. 15:42b KJV). At that time, we will be given an incorruptible body that will never die or become sick. This is such a great motivation to accept the covering of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins and to preach the message of that salvation to others, so that no matter how we are laid to rest, we too will all be raised with an incorruptible body.
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