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What Does the Bible Say About Cremation?

memorial bracelet with ashes

When a loved one passes away, making the decision on what to do with their remains can be incredibly challenging. In the absence of a clear will and testament, the decision is left to those grieving their loss. One of the most common questions that arises when determining how to lay a loved one to rest is whether or not cremation is an acceptable option, particularly from a biblical standpoint.

If you are struggling with the decision to have your own remains cremated once you’ve passed on, or you’re faced with the task of making this choice for someone you love, here’s some information that may help ease your mind.

While the Bible doesn’t definitively state whether or not cremation is acceptable practice in the eyes of God, it also does not clearly speak out against it, either. In other words, the Bible neither recommends nor forbids the process of cremation. So, what’s the main concern?

Well, many Christians believe that by cremating their remains, the Lord would no longer be capable of resurrecting them when He comes again. But if you think about this from a flesh and blood standpoint, however, the body still deteriorates following burial as well. So, in either case, the remains would not be whole and intact for resurrection.

What’s more, as Christians believe that God is all-powerful and all-capable, resurrecting someone wouldn’t be impossible for Him, even if that person had been cremated. Additionally, many are not concerned about burial or cremation, as it is the spirit that will ultimately enter Heaven, not the physical body.

Take a look at 1 Corinthians 15:35-55, as an example, which reads:

“It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.”

There are also several instances in the Bible where reference is made to burning of the dead, such as with Saul and Jonathan, whose bodies were cremated after they’d been attacked by the Philistines. Or Achan and his family, who were cremated after being stoned to death.

So, while burial certainly appears to be the standard practice for laying the dead to rest in both the Old and New Testaments, the decision to be cremated does not appear in any way to go against God’s Word. In fact, it really boils down to more of a philosophical and cultural issue rather than a religious one. 

The good news is, there are many ways to still memorialize and honor those who have passed on even after they’ve been cremated. For instance, decorative urns, glass art or jewelry infused with cremains and even memorial trees can all be beautiful alternatives to traditional cemetery burials.

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to lay someone to rest. If you’d like to learn more about how our remembrance art, please click here or get in touch today. We’d be happy to answer your questions and help guide you in making a more informed decision you can feel comfortable with.

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