A godly minister and his godly wife believe very strongly that everyone should be buried. They think that cremation is wrong in the sight of God. The minister and his wife both die before their three children do.
The surviving son of the minister is an ungodly man who actively promotes evil in the sight of God. A year later, he is killed in a car accident.
His two sisters and other family must decide whether to have him cremated or buried. What should they do?
Knowing the strong convictions of his parents, should they have him buried even though he was not a believer? Since his parents are already dead, does it make any difference what their beliefs were?
In 2 Chronicles 22, Scripture provides an instructive passage that reveals another important consideration about the importance of burial that pertains directly to what these family members should do.
Jehoshaphat, Ahaziah, and Jehu
Jehoshaphat was a godly king of Judah (2 Chron. 17:3-6). When he died, his son Jehoram became king (2 Chron. 21:1). Jehoram was a wicked king (2 Chron. 21:6).
When Jehoram died, his youngest son Ahaziah became king (2 Chron. 22:1). Like his father, Ahaziah was a wicked king (2 Chron. 22:3-4).
While Jehu was rendering God’s judgment upon Ahab, a very wicked king of Israel, Jehu had Ahaziah killed (2 Kings 9:27; 2 Chron. 22:9). His doing so was from God (2 Chron. 22:7).
In a striking statement about the aftermath of the death of Ahaziah, Scripture reveals that Ahaziah was buried for an instructive reason:
2Ch 22:9 And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.
Those who slew Ahaziah at the direction of Jehu buried Ahaziah because he was the son (grandson) of godly king Jehoshaphat who sought God wholeheartedly. Out of consideration for the godliness of Ahaziah’s grandfather, Ahaziah was buried when he died even though he himself was a wicked king.
Just as Ahaziah was buried out of consideration for the godliness of his predecessor, the sisters and family of the wicked son who died in the accident related above should choose to bury him out of consideration for the godliness of his parents and their strong beliefs that burial is the only right thing to do. Even though this minister’s son was a wicked man himself, his surviving relatives should not choose to cremate him because his parents, even though they have already died, would not have approved at all of having their son cremated, were they still living.
Choosing to bury people who are from godly Christian families but themselves are not godly is supported by what Scripture reveals was done in the case of Ahaziah after he had been killed. The surviving relatives of such people should not choose to cremate them.