Why was it necessary for Abraham to buy the land?
Abraham owned a caravan that employed and housed many people for the last 65 years. It would stand to reason that he had workers who died during that time.Their nomadic lifestyle required the body to be buried immediately, most likely outside the camp area they occupied.
For the first time in his nomadic existence, Abraham purchased land specifically for the purpose of burial. As a recognized and distinguished leader, it would have been considered dishonorable to bury the dead in a grave that was not owned by the deceased or the family of the deceased. He could not return Sarah’s body back to Ur which was approximately 530 miles away. Sarah was not embalmed and the heat of the desert would accelerate the rate of decomposition.
The importance of preparing the body
Instead, her body would have been gently and thoroughly washed. Then her remains would have been wrapped in linens used exclusively for burial.
All these years God taught Abraham about the power of resurrection. Just a few short years earlier, as Abraham trekked up Mount Moriah to sacrifice Isaac, he saw a vision of the resurrected Messiah. Abraham understood that a day would come when all the righteous dead would be resurrected with their new immortal bodies. He was preparing her body for her resurrection from the dead.
Realizing that the time may be very far off in the distant future, Abraham purchased a spot to house himself and his descendants. In his heart, he believed God would resurrect them all from the dead as a family. To live with God throughout eternity, living in an immortal body, with all of your loved ones, is the greatest most exquisite blessing of all!
Do you know that Orthodox Jews still hold this view? The body is washed and dressed in white linen. The beloved one is buried in the family plot because it is dishonorable to be buried in a grave not your own. In fact, they hold the belief that the righteous dead in Israel will rise first at the time of the resurrection (1).
We live on earth for a season, our remains stay in the earth for a season. The day will come when the righteous, the ones who believed that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, will rise to meet Him in the heavens.
Abraham buried his beloved Sarah knowing the day would come when he would join her in death. But, more importantly, he knew the day would come when they would be together again forever. It was goodbye for now, but only until they meet again.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NLT, ‘And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.’
Father, I believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again. I also believe Your promise that when Jesus returns, all believers who have previously died, including all of my loved ones, will resurrect from the dead and join Him in heaven. Because of this, I am comforted by the fact that we will all be with You forever, together again. In Jesus Name, Amen.
I believe Jesus died and was raised to life again.
I believe when Jesus returns all believers who previously died will join Him in heaven.
All of my loved ones who believed in Jesus will resurrect from the dead and be with Him in heaven.
My loved ones and I will be with Jesus in heaven together, forever.