Summary: With THIS sermon I DON'T argue the fact that ALL human remains will eventually turn into dust. I however question modern opinion on the issue in relation to Biblical view. What is GOD'S view on cremation? Did HE approve of it? Is it right or wrong?
Amos 2:1-2:3 This is what the LORD says: “For three sins of Moab,
even for four, I will not relent. Because he burned to ashes
the bones of Edom’s king, I will destroy her ruler
and kill all her officials with him.”
In ancient times there were three ways of disposing of the bodies of the dead. The Romans and Greeks who were pagans practiced cremation. The Egyptians who were ALSO pagans, practiced mummification and the Christians and Abrahmites buried their dead. Gravesites were called coemeteria which literally meant “sleeping places,” supporting the belief of resurrection. Until recently burial prevailed almost universally as the common method for disposal of the dead in Western nations, and cremation was looked upon as something practiced only by atheists or those totally ignorant of the Bible. The question that should be asked is whether there is ANY prove in the Bible of Christians OR Abrahmites who cremated their dead. Secular belief underlines the fact that our bodies are turned into dust, whether we cremate our bodies and turn it into dust INSTANTLY or whether we bury it and it turns into dust EVENTUALLY.
In Genesis 3:19 God STRIPPED Adam of his immortality and said: “In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return.” Christians DON’T dispute THIS fact. As Christians AND Abrahmites we BELIEVE for a fact that the omnipotent God have the mind boggling-power to reconstruct our bodies from dust on the day of resurrection. We ARE however questioning secular view of cremation, and whether it is an acceptable BIBLICAL norm.
Without discriminating OR being prejudice, lets study Biblical references, bearing in mind that Christians should NOT just ACCEPT Biblical teachings, but also FOLLOW Biblical examples. To reaffirm the latter, THIS is what Paul wrote in Romans 15:4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
Let us study and compare the method of disposal of diseased bodies in the era BEFORE Christ AND in the era of our Lord: "Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age…. and his sons Isaac and Ismael buried him in the cave of Machpelah...”(Gen. 25:8-10). “Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. Abraham….. spoke unto the sons of Heth, saying, I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a burying place with you, that I may bury my dead (wife) out of my sight.” (Gen. 23:1-4). “And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath...” (Genesis 35: 19-20). “…when the days of his mourning were past...his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him (Jacob) in the cave of the field of Machpelah...” (Genesis 50:13). “…And they buried him (Joshua)...” (Josh. 24:29-30). "And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill….” (Josh. 24:33). “So David slept (died) with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David." (I Kings 2:10). “And Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver.....”(Joshua 24:32). God Himself, who is the author of our faith, established burial as the means by which Christians’ and Abrahmites’ bodies must be disposed of: “He (God) buried him (Moses) in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is.” (Deuteronomy 34:6). “Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.... Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. “(Acts 5:6-5:10). John the Baptist was beheaded in prison and his disciples came and took up the body, and buried it. (Matthew 14:10-12). Jesus Himself was taken from the cross and buried. (Luke 23:53).
From the Old Testament to the New Testament, there is NO evidence of Christian bodies being cremated. The instances where human bodies WERE cremated OR burnt, was as a result of God’s wrath and anger. Sodom and Gomorrah’s inhabitants were burnt alive as a result of God’s wrath: “Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire out of heaven." (Gen. 19:24). “…and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter…” (2 Peter 2:6). “And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense."(Numbers 16:35). “Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.“ (Leviticus 10: 1-2). Contrary to the latter, where Moab’s intention WAS to cremate the king’s bones, God was angry and said the following: “…For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime.” (Amos 2:1).