Burial With Dignity
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:24-26 (ESV) 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development have gone on record saying approximately 40,000 veterans have no place to call their own. Combinations of societal, social, psychological and preferential conditions are the complex reasons given as to why veterans who have defended our country have no nightly resting place.
But what happens to the bodies of these veterans in death? Do they still have nowhere to go?
Those were the questions asked by Gino Perez, a shop class teacher at Valley High School in Albuquerque. Perez was told there is a program, the Forgotten Heroes Burial Program, which takes care of these sad situations. The Forgotten Heroes Burial program cremates the remains.
Then the vets’ remains are placed in a black cardboard box and given full honors when they are buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.
Perez, a Navy Veteran, was appreciative that the homeless were not forgotten in death. That being said, he thought he and his students might be able to make an improvement in the burial service… at least for a few of these individuals. As an act of respect, Perez’ class constructed a number of wooden urns to take the place of the cardboard boxes.
It was a gesture which may not make any difference to those who are gone… but it does make a difference to those students who are being taught to respect those who made sacrifices for them.
Almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus, a Rabbi from Nazareth, had wandered the countryside without a place to lay His head. His mission, His teachings, His life were dedicated to the temporal and eternal welfare of all humankind. Sadly, Jesus had made a great many enemies. Those who hated Him came together and orchestrated His crucifixion.
Unfortunately, because the Sabbath was coming, Jesus’ burial had been rushed and left incomplete.
Like Perez’ class which wanted to show their respect to veterans, some women wanted to show their respect to their deceased Rabbi Whose life had been dedicated to winning their freedom from sin, death and devil. That is what took them on their pre-dawn visit to the borrowed tomb where Jesus’ corpse had been placed.
In the history of the world many such visits have been made by mourners to the graves of soldiers who have made special, and supreme sacrifices. In all of that history, none of those millions of mourners have ever shared the experience of those ladies.
Rather than finishing funeral arrangements for a dead Body, they were privileged to be among the first to see their risen Savior. Jesus of Nazareth, God’s perfect Son and our Redeemer had shown Himself to be the ultimate Victor. In His life He resisted Satan’s temptations and fulfilled every law of God the rest of humanity had broken. Then, in death, He defeated the grave. Which is why we need not show respect to a dead Jesus; instead we are able to worship our living Lord.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it is right we should respect those who have given part, or all, of their lives for our earthly freedom. May we be offer our worship and praise to the Savior Who has, with His glorious resurrection, won our eternal freedom. In His Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by the editors of Newser on September 19, 2018. Those who wish to reference this articles may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written http://www.newser.com/story/264823/veterans-ashes-wont-rest-in-cardboard-thanks-to-teens.html.
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