For those of you following my series on “What To Do With A Body,” here is the next chapter.
Since Jay wanted to be cremated, and I was favoring some way to be “dust to dust,” the natural next step was to learn more about cremation.
I had two thoughts about humans in fires. Neither of them was good.
One was the fires of hell. All the various preachers had effectively scared the stuffings out of me. Hell sounded horrific and I definitely did not want to be there.
The other haunting memory was the one that almost caused me to quit nursing. To this day, I can still hear the screams of those who were in the hospital’s burn unit.
But I had to remember that I would not be in the body at the time of transition. I would not be experiencing fire in the same way as I would while in the body.
And if per chance, I was somehow aware of being in the fire, God has already demonstrated how He can protect me.
Daniel 3 tells the story of three men who were thrown into a furnace heated seven times its usual temperature. It was so hot the men who threw them in were consumed by the flames and died.
But the three men placed all their trust in God. They were joined by a fourth “man.” When the three were removed from the furnace, this is how they were described.
The fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
God made good on His Promise. And I know He would do the same for me.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
One of the first descriptions of fire in The Bible was when Moses encountered a strange phenomenon … a burning bush that was not being consumed.
God led the children of Israel through the desert with a fire by night to guide them.
Moses reminded the people of what they themselves said.
“The Lord our God has shown us His Glory and Majesty, and we have heard His Voice from the fire.
The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire.
2 Thessalonians 1:7
When Jesus’ followers were baptized with The Holy Spirit, “they saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”
John described what he saw in his revelation.
“His Eyes are a flame of fire.”
Daniel envisioned The Ancient of Days on a throne that was flashing with fire.
All of this led me to an interesting question no one can answer but God.
Initially when Moses wanted to see God face to face, God told him he could not do that and live.
God hid him in the cleft of the rock and passed by. Perhaps it was not yet time for Moses to leave earth.
But then, the day came when it was time.
Since God communicated so much with Moses through fire, is possible God finally let him see Him close up, face to face?
Was Moses escorted into the Glory of God’s Presence with fire?
The Biblical writer probably assumed God buried him, since burial was the custom of the day.
But … the writer of Deuteronomy recorded …”to this day no one knows where his grave is.“
Was that perhaps because there was no grave? Could God have cremated Moses’ body? No one knows.
There have been various interpretations of what Paul meant when he said, “If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:3
Paul obviously considered that however it happened, his body might be burned and on some level, it was he who was delivering it. And when the body was gone, the most important thing to remain would be his spirit filled with Love.
And … God is Love!
1 John 4:8