Traditionally, when a Jewish family member died, he or she was buried in the family grave. This grave was usually a low-ceiling cave, cut into stone. A grandfather could be buried in the same cave as his grandson, even if their deaths were decades apart from each other.
The bodies were never cremated. They were wrapped and buried close to earth. A tombstone was placed over the grave or on the grave. Often the tombstones were etched with religious words or symbols. The ancient Jews believed that if a body was not buried, its spirit would wander around aimlessly in Sheol hell.
A grave confined the soul to the body. It was a terrible disgrace not to be buried, so the Jews valued burying their dead and took care of their own. Only were criminals allowed not to be buried in a tomb or plot.
Many were stoned and their bodies were then covered with rocks. In the Bible, particularly in the book of Genesis, there are accounts of deaths and burials. Some of these include:. Some of the poor who died were buried in common graves since they had no family cemeteries or plots. The Jewish culture and religion were filled with charitable acts, and the giving of alms to care for the poor was widely practiced.
Those who were able financially, took care of the poor and the widows as well as strangers. In Jerusalem and other cities, the practice among the Jews was to always bury a body. After all, no one wanted to have to smell a rotting corpse in the streets.
When Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver, returned the coins, the Jewish officials called the money Blood Money and didn't think it was clean enough to go into the treasury. Just as Jesus was resurrected and now has an eternal physical body, the saints of all ages are promised this same existence at the second coming of the Lord.
An engineer uses ground-penetrating radar to detect the walls of the original tomb behind its marble facade. Because he did not kill me before birth, So that my mother would have been my grave, And her womb ever pregnant. After this, the body is washed and clothed for burial. Forsaken among the dead, Like the slain who lie in the grave, Whom You remember no more, And they are cut off from Your hand. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies.
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? However, their spirits will go to either heaven or hell awaiting a day when they receive their resurrected bodies.
The Bible does not have any commands or laws against cremation. There are, however, biblical examples of how Christians were buried recorded in the Bible.
Many of the heathen nations around the Israelites traditionally cremated their dead. The Israelites always buried their dead or put them in a tomb. Eventually, we will all return to dust whether we are buried or cremated.
However, we should pray about how our lives can bring glory to God at the finish of our lives, as well as during our time on this earth. We can plan and save for a Christian burial and leave a last will and testament outlining our beliefs so that when we have each finished our race here on this earth, we can still have a witness at the end of our lives.
This will allow others to celebrate our life in Christ through a Christian service and burial instead of accepting the ways of heathen religions that do not understand that, as Christians, we get a new body at the resurrection, as our old one is put to rest in the ground. This article is not written to bring condemnation to any who have had loved ones cremated, as we understand the lack of knowledge on this subject and the stress of the moment and the lack of means for a burial could have led you and the family to that decision. It is rather written so that in the future those who have had questions about this topic of cremation may want to seek the Lord and pray how He would lead you to bury your dead or leave instructions as to how you want to be buried.
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List of Five Reasons People Choose Cremation Lately, more Christians are becoming open to the idea of cremation and are embracing this means of disposing of the bodies of their loved ones for a number of reasons.
Some have felt they cannot afford the expense of a traditional funeral, and choose cremation because of the expenses involved in burial. Funeral homes price cremation cheaper than the traditional casket and burial costs and they recommend this method if expenses are a concern, so bereaved people just go that way. Some have become environmentalists and are concerned about the lack of burial plots as space has become less available in cemeteries in certain locations. Some feel there are fewer decisions that need to be made, so cremation is easier.
Some do not want the issue and cost of transportation when the body is away from home. Some romanticize saving the ashes of their loved one to be distributed in some emotional setting getting their cues from some movie they have seen. List of Five Reasons for a Christian Burial As Christians, we need to approach this delicate subject with a different mindset as the cheapest and easiest option is not always the right one. A Christian funeral or memorial service should focus on the gospel and invite the attendees to think about their heavenly destination and even offer an altar call to the lost to give their lives to the Lord while they are yet alive as one day they too will face death.
A Christian funeral also gives the family and those who mourn an opportunity to release their sorrow and many times when they are allowed to view the body of a deceased person that is the moment they are touched by God to give their life to Christ.