No. Cremation, however, may have something to say about the Bible. The proper handling of human bodies after death is not something the Bible expressly deals with. There are sundry ceremonial laws in the Old Covenant about touching dead bodies, but no instruction on what to do with these bodies. As such we need to be careful not to condemn what the Bible does not condemn. How though, could cremation speak to the Bible?

Cremation, strange as it may sound, is a form of liturgy. It is a form for dealing with matters of eternal consequence. As a form it in turn communicates a message. That message, it seems, does speak against the Bible’s understanding of death. Cremation, however subtly, suggests that our bodies are of no significance or import, that they are simply so much trash that must be burned. It is implicitly a Gnostic practice, a denial of the goodness of the creation in general and the human body in particular.

Burial, on the other hand, communicates something far more consistent with the Bible. It affirms not only that the human body has dignity, but also that it has a future. It affirms that death is not the end of the body. Consider for a moment why so many cemeteries have in their name some variation on the notion of “Garden.” That cemeteries are well kept and green is consistent with our dignity, but that is not what “Garden” in this context communicates. Because of the promise of the gospel, because of the promise of the resurrection, we are not so much burying the bodies of our loved ones when they pass, as planting them. We are put in the ground to wait for the return of Christ when our corruptible bodies will be made incorruptible.

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