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Does the Bible have anything to say about cremation?


 

Pr. Doug Bachelor

(Bible Answers Live, - radio program)

Caller: Q. Does the Bible have anything to say about cremation?

Pastor Doug: I can't really give an answer from the Bible because there is no Bible mandate how to bury someone. Typically in the Bible, people are buried when they die. It speaks of graves and how they were marked.
However, there are a few examples in the Bible of people who we know are saved who also happened to be cremated. You have Jonathan, the beloved friend of David, who was killed by the Philistines. His body was somewhat mutilated and then hung on a wall. (He was a type of Christ actually.) His body was rescued, or rather recovered, by the people of Jabeshgilead. They burned the body, because it had been basically dismembered. And David blessed them for doing that. Nor were they cursed.
In addition, the Bible says that we're dust, that we came from dust, and unto dust we'll return. It's not a pretty subject, but we know that when a person dies and they're buried, they decompose and they basically turn back into the elements of earth. That happens very slowly if we're put in a sealed coffin. But eventually, almost everything will rot unless you pay a lot of money to be cryogenically frozen. Or it can happen very quickly in a crematorium. But either way, we basically return to ashes.
Some people fear that if they're cremated, the Lord won't have enough body, like a bone, to piece them back together--that He won't be able to resurrect them. But God is not going to use any of the old material. The Bible says, "All things are made new." He is going to take the essence of who we are, our soul, and put it in these new glorified bodies. So we don't need to worry about if God can't find the old parts.
But there's no command one way or the other, so we must assume that it was not a big issue with the Lord. So I ask people to let their conscience lead them.