A delightful Christian woman recently shared with me that she was troubled about being cremated rather than being buried. She had just one daughter that could not afford to bury her. She loved her Christian daughter and wondered if she should make it easier on the daughter by being cremated. There is another option that can be considered by Christians.
A wonderful Christian friend of mine went to be with the Lord recently. He donated his body to science. He nobly spared his family the expense of a burial or a cremation. Donating his body to science was also a noble thing. I suggested that the woman might pray about donating her body to science. She told me that she had not thought of that and seemed relieved at the possibility. If possible, we should all do with our bodies what the Lord wants us to do with them. But we don*t always have control over what happens to our bodies after our death. There are some places where government agencies will help with the cost of burials.
I must confess that I am not knowledgeable about the Biblical reasons that most people were buried. I have not felt led to study that issue in depth. Perhaps some of you would be willing and able to enlighten me about it. In the Bible burning the bodies of individuals was often associated with judgment. Leaving dead bodies exposed to destruction by birds and animals was also associated with judgment. The final place of judgment is called the Lake of Fire.
In the early church, Christians that were martyred were often burned to death. For centuries after that thousands of other Christians were tortured and burned at the stake. It still happens in our time. Our bodies return to dust in their graves.
I want to assure you that nothing happens to our bodies that will prevent God from keeping His promise to raise us from the dead.
John 6:44: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
1 Corinthians 15:42 and following: So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. . . . 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1 Thessalonians 4:16: For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: