Burning Question

Harolds Casket and Crypt Opening

Burning Question                        August, 2017

One of my neighbors has given me a tract about disposing of a person’s remains when she passes on.   It was interesting and quoted a lot of passages in the Bible about seeds, planting, fruit, and harvest.   However, all of the passages were talking about agriculture and not about human bodies. No matter how someone died or was buried a thousand years ago, all those bodies have returned to dust.   Some say that we ask for a physical burial because we respect the God-created body that He has given us.

When it comes to ownership of your body, there are several interesting ways to look at that flesh.   “(The body) is buried in dishonor” and “it is perishable” and “splendor of the earthly body” and “God made us in His image.” So is this body ours or is it His? I contend that we each own our body, and it is part of the one odd thing that God gave us – free will. So we can use our body to make beautiful children or to inject it with heroin.   We can work it to be fit and trim, or we can pour every cuisine in huge amounts into it with other outcomes. We can wear a seat belt and drive the speed limit, or we can cliff climb and skydive every day until a fatal moment comes.   The choice clearly is ours.

Now comes the sticky part.   We are most truly spirit beings that will survive the use of this earthly body. Because my body was a gift from God, while I am in it I will respect it and care for it. When I leave that body, I think that it no longer belongs to me. Frankly, what use do I have for it anyway? My spirit brain can command that I raise up my right arm for a hundred years and absolutely no motion will occur. I have given up control of it. When Jesus was wrapping up, He said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” He didn’t say take this body.

Looking at the practical function of my body, I have to ask of what use is it to me when it is dead?   I can own a car, but if it burns up, then I no longer care about it. If the handle on my hammer breaks, why would I keep it around? When a basket of strawberries turns rotten, I am not going to put it in my scrapbook. So if I am done with my body, it doesn’t matter to me what becomes of it. It has absolutely no utility.

The Jesus that appeared to the Disciples later was in His own body. He still had pierced hands and side, but He was not decaying as a normal body would. He did not appear like a zombie in a Michael Jackson video.   That is because God had resurrected him. Jesus did not will himself out of the tomb any more than you or I shall. Only God can raise someone from the dead. He WILL raise us from the dead who believe in His Son. And we will be given new bodies regardless of what happened to the old one.

God can resurrect any body, in any condition, and He will on the last day of this age. All of the bodies of all the believers will be resurrected as Christ was resurrected, in “the twinkling of an eye.” So embalming, cremation, burial in a casket, or scattering ashes are of no consequence to the only useful thing you possess a moment after you are “gone.”   Your spirit is all that matters – and, oh yes, its destination.

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