Next week, we will be starting a new sermon series on the Letter of James entitled "Faith As It Intersects Life." Another good title for this series would be "Where the Rubber Meets the Road." You can look here to find my outlines for this series each week. Enjoy!
The Tough Questions: Part VII: Cremation Vs. Burial: Is Cremation Wrong?
1 Corinthians 15:42-58 (pg. 166)
I. A story of life, death, fear, and relief.
A. Death is a sobering subject.
B. What we do with the dead is of utmost importance.
1. It reflects upon God.
2. It reflects upon the deceased.
3. It reflects upon ourselves/the community.
C. Thus, today’s question is vital in our present time.
II. A bit of history.
A. Cremation was common in Greece and in Rome in the
final eight centuries before the birth of Christ.
B. The Jews and Egyptians preferred burial.
1. The mummies of Egypt – preparing for the afterlife.
2. The burial of Jews – the body as sacred.
a. Genesis 50:24-26 (pg. 46 in O.T.)
b. Burial in tombs – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (Pg. 165)
c. Ossuaries, “bone boxes,” from early Christianity.
d. Orthodox Jews do not cremate to this day.
C. After Christianity became the religion of Rome, cremation
ceased as a common practice.
D. The majority of Christian denominations including the
Catholic Church allow for cremation today.
III. What is at stake in this question? The Resurrection.
A. The human body does not have to be in a certain condition to be resurrected. (1 Corinthians 15:50 – pg. 166).
B. The human body in whatever form of death will be changed
(1 Corinthians 15:51).
C. God will make the resurrected body as God desires despite
its form in death.
Responding to God’s Word: Prepare for death as a new beginning and take peace in the love, grace, and power of Almighty God.