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Passing the Baton

Weekly Devotionals

Passing the Baton

On May 19th, Ravi Zacharias passed on at the age of 74, two months after being diagnosed by a rare case of cancer. Known as the Great Apologist, Ravi influenced the lives of millions, with a ministry spanning close to 60 years, helping both believers and non-believers connect the heart and the mind in presenting the Christian worldview. And he did it respectfully, gently, building bridges where many of his Christian contemporaries would not, without sacrificing the conviction of his views.

He leaves a great legacy behind, having built an influential apologetics ministry, with a platform that reaches and will continue to reach millions. But it was so much more than that…

What he leaves behind is a cumulative trail of Christ’s fragrance in the way he loved the church, the lost and respected the individual. His message was great, but behind the message, was genuinely a caring man, pointing us to Christ. More than the question, he always reminded us to focus on the questioner. At his core he was an evangelist and apologetics was simply his means.

And that’s why he was able to reach across the divide, and across even hostile, opposing views, because his audience always felt respected. In the succinct words of Ben Shapiro, an orthodox Jew who admired Ravi- “Ravi wasn’t just a great man – he was a good one, which is far more difficult and important”.

I personally have been influenced and impacted over a long period of time, first loving to listen to his cassette tapes back in the 90’s, and then having the honor to meet him in person and partnering alongside Ravi’s organization over the years.
I couldn’t help mourning over the past few weeks upon this untimely and sudden announcement, unable to hold back tears as I shared with close friends who knew of him and his ministry. But it is a mourning that comes with some deep conviction…

Everyone’s life is numbered on this earth, and in this world it comes to an end. But in some rare cases, when the cause is so great, when the impact of one’s life has been so positive, at that conversion point, when a vacuum seems to be formed, an almost cosmic passing of baton takes place, picked up by those who stay behind, whose lives were meaningfully touched by the one passing.

Such I believe could be this moment. That even in some small way, we can all carry the torch of one man’s good work and how he represented Christ. And like the transformation of the mustard seed, perhaps Ravi’s greatest legacy, is ahead of him and not behind. Thank you Ravi, for always pointing us to Jesus, with your words and with your life.