Tuesday, December 25, 2018
For years my husband and I debated and struggled with the topic of physical burial v.s. cremation, but 3 years ago we finally settled on cremation: it is cheaper and we could not find in the Scriptures ANY DIRECT FORBIDDANCE of cremation. People from Jewish and Christian background have their differences of opinions, but opinions are just that: o.p.i.n.i.o.n.s.
What sealed the deal for us was the fact that the process of cremation is by far less invasive and less expensive than the process of a physical body burial. We did not want an autopsy, and we did not want to donate our organs; these are things that we felt very strongly are unnecessary invasive practices that dishonor the body. Some disagree, but be that as it may, this is our viewpoint and we aren’t going to change it: when my husband recently passed from this life into the next, I was asked at his bedside if I wanted an autopsy, and I said, “No. We all know how and why he died – there is no point.” Then I was asked if I wanted to donate his organs; again, I said, “No. We believe our bodies were created for us specifically, and we believe in the resurrection of the dead … we want our organs to be buried with us.” Plus, my husband was 69 years old when he passed; his organs were pretty much worn out.
And we believe, according to our Faith, that when our physical body ceases to function as a living entity, our spirit (aka: soul) departs and is immediately in the presence of Adonai Yeshua. Scripture bears this belief out in Luke 23:43, 2 Corinthians 5:8, and & Isaiah 43:2. It is clear in Scripture that for Christians, death is NOT the end of our existence – death is merely the separation of body and soul, not the end of who we are or what we were created to be. Plus there are NO DIRECT SCRIPTURAL FORBIDDANCE concerning cremation, even though there ARE direct Scriptural references concerning the handling of a dead body.
In that understanding we made the decision to have our bodily remains cremated. So, while making funeral arrangements for my husband on the 14th, I saw that it was so economical that I also made arrangements for MY OWN cremation and internment at a future date when Elohei calls my name – 2 for the price of 1 makes sense, and doing both also took the pressure off survivors so they don’t have to make a decision they don’t agree with, and their grief won’t be made more difficult. As of today, while I am typing this post, my children and grandchildren are not Christians … and they have no desire to become Christians: death hits them hard because they see death as a final farewell and the end of all existence. I, on the other hand, consider death a graduation and the beginning of real living. So I do not mourn as the world mourns.
And I personally believe Elohei can raise a body reduced to ash as well, and as readily, as he can raise a body reduced to decayed sludge; for us, we began to view cremation as a valid Christian burial practice. And, for us, cremation also seems a more humane way of caring for the deceased than some of the death disposal practices of ancient days … or even current days in some ethnic cultures.