Ravi Zacharias has been a rock and a light for a whole generation. A rock that has strengthened the faith of thousands of believers all over the world; a light that has also attracted thousands to Christ, He who is the Light.
Even during his last days on earth, in the midst of physical pain from an aggressive illness, he preached his last and perhaps most powerful sermon. It was an unspoken, yet eloquent, message: “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). It was a message emitted directly from his serenity and peace during his final days.
What was the secret of this peace and strength? His daughter Sarah Davis tells us that “seven words changed the trajectory of Ravi Zacharias’s life some 57 years ago” — ” “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19). The hope of the resurrection is the main reason that made Ravi Zacharias a rock and a light for so many people. That is why this verse, “etched on his grandmother’s gravestone and will be etched on his too.”
Ravi was a lucid thinker with a heart that burned for Christ. This combination was, for me, the major feature of his life and work. It is unusual to find thinkers with passion in the same way that passionate people often lack deep thinking. Ravi had both.
It’s no coincidence that this has been RZIM’s motto for years: Helping the thinker believe and the believer think. Ravi has been a pioneer of persuasive evangelization, presenting the Gospel in a reasoned, relevant and, at the same time, fully respectful manner. Ravi was firm and faithful to the Truth of the Gospel, while elegant in his disagreement. “Love is the best apologetic” was one of his catch phrases.
Today is a day of mixed feelings. There is pain and there is joy. There is sorrow over separation, but there is also celebration of a fruitful life, a life that has borne much “fruit that will last” (John 15:16)
It is a difficult time for all those who love God’s work and especially for the RZIM team in Spain and all over the world. The loss of our founder and role model is similar to the loss of a father and leaves us like orphans. We weep, but our tears are not of despair; they are tears filled with the hope that shaped all of Ravi’s life, hope in the resurrection with Christ (Rom 8: 11). Ravi never gave way to despair in his life, and so now neither is there despair in his death.
Ravi Zacharias’s legacy and example encourage us to look forward with the same passion for Christ and the spread of the Gospel that accompanied him right up to his departure for the Heavenly Home. God’s faithfulness in the past is the basis of our confidence in the future.
In the e-mail in which his daughter Sarah communicated his departure, she put only three words in the subject line:
“Now with Jesus.”
There couldn´t be a better summary of a life and a death. All glory to God and all our gratitude to Ravi.
Board president of Fundación RZ (Spain).
Imagen de cabecera: Laura K. Moore Photography