Cremation is practiced today in most parts of the word where a hot incinerator is used which reduces the body to ashes in a matter of minutes. What is left behind after cremation is just a handful of ashes belonging to the deceased.
Though today cremation is an acceptable Christian practice, but in the past it was not at all accepted by the Christian community. People who believed in the Bible were not in favor of cremation and in fact, they opt for burial. Experts believe that there is nothing Christian about cremation as there are several evidences in the Bible about burial.
If one reads the Bible from cover to cover, they will come across many evidences in which God’s people were buried rather than cremated.
Here are some of the evidences of burial in the Bible.
Abraham was buried – “Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. And his sons Isaac and Ismael buried him in the cave of Machpelah…” (Gen. 25:8-10).
Sarah was buried – “And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old…And Sarah died in Kirjatharba…And Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying, I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a burying place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight” (Gen. 23:1-4).
Rachel was buried – “And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath…And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day” (Gen. 35:19-20).
Isaac was buried – “And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him” (Gen. 35:29).
Jacob was buried – “And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people…And when the days of his mourning were past…his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah…” (Gen. 49:33; 50:4-13).
Joseph was buried – “So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt” (Gen. 50:26).
Joshua was buried – “And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him…” (Josh. 24:29-30).
Eleazar was buried – “And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.” (Josh. 24:33).
Samuel was buried – “And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah.” (I Sam. 25:1).
David was buried – “So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.” (I Kings 2:10).
John the Baptist were buried – “And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison…and his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.” (Matt. 14:10-12).
Ananias and Sapphira were buried – “And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him…then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.” (Acts 5:5-10).
Stephen was buried – “And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.” (Acts 8:2).
To sum up, with these evidences it becomes clear that in the past, burial was more practiced as compared to cremation. Today, things are different but you can always make a choice between burial and cremation.