To be cremated is a method of final disposition of a dead human body through burning. It may serve as a funeral or post-funeral ceremony and as an alternative to burial. Cremation was practiced in ancient times, but it was not practiced by those in the Old or New Testaments except on rare occasions (Leviticus 20:14; 1 Samuel 31:11-13; Amos 6:10).
Burial in the Old Testament
According to the Bible practice, the bodies of the deceased were not cremated but buried in the ground or in caves (Genesis 23:19; 35:19; 2 Chronicles 16:14; Matthew 27:60-66). For example, God buried Moses himself (Deuteronomy 34:5-8; Jude 1:9). Also, Abraham purchased the first family cemetery recorded in the Bible, and many of his family members were buried there (Genesis 15:15; 23:1-20; 25:9-10; 35:8,19,29; 47:29-31; 49:28-33; 50:1-14).
As for Joseph, he wanted his bones to be carried out of Egypt so it could be buried in Canaan, although his embalmed body was in a coffin for about 200 years until the Exodus (Genesis 50:24-26; Exodus 13:19; Joshua 24:32). And King David was buried, and the location of his tomb was still well known 1000 years later in Jerusalem (I Kings 2:10; 11:43; Acts 2:29; 13:36).
Burial in the New Testament
Similarly, there are many examples of burying the dead in the New Testament (Luke 16:22; Matthew 8:22; 27:1-10,57-60; John 11:33-44; Acts 5:1-11; 8:2). Jesus Christ Himself was buried. Even though His body had been mangled, and there was no funeral, they still took the time to prepare His body for burial (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:43-46; Luke 23:50-53; John 19:38-42; Acts 13:29).
Will God resurrect the cremated people?
While the prominent method in the Bible is burial, it does not specifically command against being cremated. Some reject cremation on the grounds that the decomposed bodies of those who have been cremated cannot be raised.
God can do anything. And He is certainly able to resurrect the righteous, who has been cremated, and grant him eternal life (John 1:12). Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25). He who accepts Him receives life (1 John 5:11, 12) and is assured of a future resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).
The apostle Paul declared, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall 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 incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:50-55).
God created Adam from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). And He can re-create the cremated bodies of the deceased from the dust of the earth at the resurrection Day. For the Lord is Omnipotent (Job 42:2). And with Him “all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
Seek God’s wisdom
An individual who is thinking of being cremated, should pray for wisdom. And the Lord promised, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Therefore, in this matter follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit to your life and the Lord will lead you to the best decision in this matter.
In His service,