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Resurrection of the dead?

I think it is cruel to bring up the stories of Jesus raising people from the dead during a funeral service.

There are many of them:

A widow’s son restored to life (LK 7:11-17)

The synagogue leader Jairus’ daughter – (MT 918-19 and 23-26. Mark 5:21-23 and 35-43, LK 8:40-42 and 49-56)

The story of Lazarus (JN 11:38-40)

And of course we can’t forget Jesus’ own resurrection (MT 28:1-8, MK 16:1-8, LK 24:1-8.)

It is part and parcel of the Christian story to talk about everlasting life and the resurrection of the dead, especially at a funeral service. Many preachers use a funeral as a not-so-veiled attempt to push this message onto a captive audience, rather than comforting them in their grief.

Sometimes the message of eternal life just sounds like magical thinking.

Perhaps the hope in the resurrection, in the body itself being restored to life, is what drives the funeral industry to preserve human bodies by pumping them full of toxic chemicals and to put them in metal coffins and then put those into concrete vaults under six feet of dirt.

We must remember that Jesus is Jewish, and Jews don’t do any of this. The Jewish way of taking care of the deceased is to ensure that the body decays naturally and returns to the earth that it came from. In Israel, bodies aren’t even put into coffins. In America, there are different laws so at a minimum a plain pine casket is used, preferably with no vault. The idea is to make it as easy for the body to return to the earth by having as few barriers as possible. Often, Jews would buy land to have their own cemetery so they would not have to use vaults.

As for me, I would not want to be resurrected only to find that I was locked into a solid metal coffin, inside a concrete liner, six feet underground. This would be beyond cruel.

If God is going to resurrect us, then why are we going to all this effort to preserve the body? This is saying that we are responsible for the miracle – not God.

God made the first human from dirt, remember? God can restore us however we are to perfect form.

Also, think of this – say everyone who has ever died comes back to life. The Earth is going to be even more overcrowded than it is.

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