Burying the dead
Acts 5:6 -
And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.
Just 10mins before I received this message someone sent me a photo of the grave of one of my aunts who died as a Catholic. The photo showed her grave filly covered with beautiful flowers and lots of burning candles placed randomly between the flowers. For any person this photo looked very beautiful and touching, which showed love and respect. But is this Christian?
Before I came to know the Lord I was a Catholic. When my father died I did his burial in the grandest way I could. The tomb was designed using CAD (computer aided design) and when finished it was among the best in that grave yard. I used to regularly go to visit the grave at least twice a year and would make sure the small patch of garden around it was well kept by the gardener. I used to take lots of flowers and candles especially by the loads on all-souls-day (a feast of the Catholics to do with the dead).
Let us look at the Bible and see what the Lord says concerning the dead and what we need to do with their bodies. Throughout the Bible the Lord gives value to the spirit-man more than the natural flesh body of the person. When a person dies the bodies is no longer the person but as respect to the person gone the body is disposed with respect.
After man sinned God had cursed man to dust which meant not only his body was going to dust but even his spirit was condemned to destruction. Man was condemned to hell - a prison for the rest of his spirit life (which is a few thousand years). In that prison the sins inside him become like ever burning fire or eternal living worms (both are figuratively speaking). Jesus by His death and resurrection broke this curse so today anyone who believes in Jesus Christ and their saviour and dies, he or she in spirit does not go to hell even though the person at the time of death has sins. The body may go to dust yet the spirit-man being under grace by faith is saved from hell.
When we put flowers or candles to the grave of a person we are not serving the body of the person but also to that person and thus declaring that person as unsaved. We unknowingly are proclaiming that this person is under the curse of dust and not only is the body gone to dust by even the person has. Jesus was the only man who died without sin therefore He alone was raised not only in spirit but also in the flesh.
In the Old Testament we see the Israelites worshipped the graves of their ancestors and the righteous, Men of God were very against that. We have a good understanding of this from the acts of King Josiah in 2 Kings chapter 23.
Even today the so called Christian worship the dead when they put flowers and candles to the graves of their ancestors, loved ones or even to statues of the dead. Satan knows how to play with people who are far from the Truth therefore we see evil spirits or fallen angels come personating dead people not only towards the people of other religions but also with so called Christians.
There is no scripture in the whole Bible where the spirit of man other than of a Man of God coming back after death. Even though the spirits of the Men of God came yet they did not come to minister to man or to guide man from danger for God forbid interaction between man in the flesh and the dead. Therefore to communicate with the spirits of Moses and Elijah, Jesus had to transfigure (come out of flesh body). But when King Saul communicated with the spirit of Samuel he was condemned to death. We see it were the Angels who ministered to man and did the warning not the spirits of dead people.
We as Christians give respect to the body of the dead especially of the saved, but we do not put flowers or candles to their graves or even to their photographs or statues. We are the children of light knowing the truth of life and do not act like blind people.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, there are many people who believe in You and have even accepted Jesus Cjrist as their Lord and Master but do not give heed to His Word. Although they are saved from hell in spirit they are spiritually dead for they go after the things of the dead. Lord, we pray for these people that their eyes open to the Truth, that they become spiritually alive and do not defile themselves with the tings of the dead...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
2 Kings 23:1-18
Matthew 8:22 - But Jesus said to him, "Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead."
31 "But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying,
32 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
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