The dignity of the body in life and death There seems to be a type of indifference (perhaps a veiled fear) towards the body of a person who has died. Just speaking from experience, at a funeral people will actively avoid viewing the body even of loved ones. They will often say that the body laying there is inconsequential, that the spirit has flown and the body means nothing at this time. It is worth revealing the dignity of the body in life and death:
The Body is not inconsequential even in death. We know that the Body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit, this does not cease when our souls are stripped from their natural place of rest. What was Holy remains Holy. The modern fascination with incineration of the body is quite a tell in how little we actually believe the body is a temple. Rather then allowing God to naturally process this temple to its end, we feel the need to speed it up, because we are an efficient people (#Murica) and cannot be bothered with seeing something that was, remain in existence while not doing anything.
The modern man thinks the morbid reminder of the dead body an unnecessary temptation. My own cousin who professed that the body was inconsequential went out of her way to justify her lack of desire to see the body that was laid in the vestibule for final respects. She did this unsolicited, almost in a similar manner to how people engaged in disordered behavior will go out of their way to try to justify their degeneracy to others so they don’t have to feel awkward.
The body is not inconsequential even in death. In 2 Kings 13:21, we see the bones of Elisha are an instrument to restore a dead man to life. So too, when Christ died on the cross, the Evangelist tells us that the tombs were broken open and the bodies of many holy men appeared in the city (Matthew 27:52). These actions of using the bodies of those dead were not inconsequential. So too when one gazes upon the body of a loved one who has passed it is not pointless. The saints tell us daily to prepare for our own deaths, to tell ourselves daily that “tomorrow I will die”, therefore we are always to remember and live this day, this moment for our ultimate end in God, both in body and spirit. Our purpose, even with the body, does not end with the casket closing, for if the realization of the reality of death brings just one soul back, what could be a greater miracle?
The body is a temple in life and death, and it, that very body that exists, will be raised and glorified. That specific body will be reanimated in glory or shame. Treat the body with the dignity that God created it with.