Cremation is a subject that the Bible does not specifically discuss. It is interesting to note, however, that people throughout the Bible times treated the human body with great respect, and often showed deep concern about the disposition of the remains following death. (see Genesis 49:29-31 for instance) Embalming was practiced in both the Old and New Testament times (Genesis 50; 26; Mark 16:1), and it was taken as a great disgrace not to have a proper burial. (1 Samuel 31:9-13; 2 Samuel 2:4-6: Ecclesiastes 6:3)
Cremation is one of the options now available for final disposition of the body at death. It is estimated that less than 5 percent of American families choose cremation, but in Japan and England over half the families take this option.
Funeral arrangements are not necessarily significantly different from other options. The body may still be viewed prior to the service, and a worship service may be held with the deceased present in most cases. There are a number of options available as to the disposition of the cremated remains, including burial and scattering.
In contemplating the choices available, Christians will want to give thoughtful consideration to all who may be affected by the decision, such as loved ones who may have strong feelings on the subject. One certainly would not like to bring unnecessary distress to anyone. Furthermore, the attitude of the Christian's heart will show deep respect for the wonderful body that God designed. (Psalm 139:14) Of course God will resurrect all of His children regardless of what has become of their bodies. When Jesus comes, "The dead in Christ" will be raised and given immortal bodies, "fashioned like unto his glorious body." (1 Thessalonians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 5:54; Philippians 3:21) How happy we are as we look forward to that great day!