While watching a recent science fiction show, I saw space marauders lose a companion. And the question was asked by the friendly forces, “What shall we do with the body?” The answer was simple, “It’s just an empty container, treat it as such!” This is an interesting line of thought. You’ve seen empty pop cans tossed beside the road, haven’t you? Well once a person dies, the body is no better than that empty container. And because it has fulfilled its purpose, it can be discarded.
This seems to be some of the thinking behind the process of cremation. If death ends it all, then the body is an empty container. And we should treat it as such. Why not burn it and discard the ashes? After all, we do burn other trash! And why should we burden prime real estate with cemeteries? The Land could be better used for the living.
Do you notice the lack of hope in this argument? If death does end it all, then the argument is valid. But as a matter of fact, there is life after death. This is why Christians have always buried their dead. Burial is an act of hope. And that hope is the hope of the resurrection. “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…” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). You see, burial is a statement of faith in the resurrection of the dead. But cremation is just the opposite! Cremation is for those “having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).
To help you understand this better, click here and listen to “Burial or Burning (Cremation).”