Discuss: Ravi Zacharias: Easter Reflections from My Hospital Bed

In a remarkable article available at The Gospel Coalition — written while undergoing treatment for cancer — Ravi Zacharias provides a message of hope:

I have always believed in the power of the message of Easter, but I believe it even more so now. It is the ultimate message of hope beyond all hopes; in fact, it is the ultimate grounding of hope.

May we be moved to wonder and worship this week as we contemplate the cross and celebrate our risen Lord. Our cities smell of death. We need the aroma of life—his name is Jesus Christ.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How are you finding hope this Easter?

  2. In a time when “the smell of death” is so close, how are you presenting the aroma of life?

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Ravi, my friend and fellow brother in suffering, yet sharing such profound truths with the many who will read this life story.
As a Leukemia overcomer according to my oncologist who has told me I am healed.
May I share my thoughts and prayers with you in your time of need.
Pain in my back was what prompted the ER visit for me. Living in a time when lost souls are searching for a fix, hesitation to give relief for the pain took longer than it should. None the less it did not change the tumor that was in my spine, which lead to the diagnosis. My prolonged wait was needed for a truth that set me free from fear and worry. In that still small whisper in the silence of the moment came.
This sickness is not unto death the beginning of a truth which is all I needed to know that He was with me. Your post spoke to that by sharing it’s not about what your going through it’s about who is with you in it. This Resurrection Sunday may He resurrect hope in all that He is still with us.
Mike

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  1. I am finding hope this Easter as I meditate on the book of James and am reminded that trials are also a gift from the Lord and God will give us a crown of life as a reward for overcoming these trials, with His help. Living through these uncertain times has helped me fix my eyes on my Saviour. My heart broke to read about Ravi Zach being diagnosed with cancer, but our good Father is in control and His plans are perfect.
  2. I have an opportunity to be the fragrance of Christ first and foremost to my family as we are in lockdown together. God has allowed me to mother and be a wife at such a time as this and it is my prayer that He may help me be faithful in the small things.
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Dear Ravi
My family wept when we heard of you illness. You have been with us so much that you are like a family member to us. Yesterday I went to the grave site of my beloved who went to the Lord 12 years ago. It is a journey I take monthly for some time with the Lord talking and reflecting on how blessed I was to have her in my life. I asked God to give me something from her so I could remember her more vividly in this time. When I came home I found this posted on Facebook by my daughter. I share it with you to encourage you for you have already done and are doing all the things that my wife talks about anyway here it is.

Something my Mom wrote to me in a note years ago: He calls us not to self-indulgence, but to self-denial; not to a frolic, but to a fight; not to a picnic, but to a pilgrimage; not to security, but to sacrifice; not to comfort, but to a cross.

Hopefully this blesses you in some way as you have blessed my family. My purpose at 73 is to stand in the gap for my children and family as well as my extended family The Church.
Love you Brother
Dan

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@CarsonWeitnauer Thank you for posting this. I saw a tweet about the column when TGC published it, but then forgot to read it. Now I have read it, and feel much rewarded.

I am finding hope this Easter by meditating on what Jesus did for us. His death was an act of infinite generosity. He did not need to leave his rich status in order to save us, but he did. It is a hard example to follow. It also makes complaining about my difficulties harder.

I fumbled the ball this morning by being grumpy with my family. That rather enhanced the “smell of death.” Fortunately we had a family communion service that helped me to reorient myself and enhance the “aroma of life.” We meditated on Luke 22:14-23 then took communion matzoh and grape juice. We handed out the pieces of broken matzoh, then talked about what it means and how it connects Passover to Communion. (My seven-year-old son lectured us about it!) Then we did the same with small glasses of grape juice. We plan to listen to a virtual service and sing Easter hymns together on Sunday. Where two or three are gathered, Jesus is there!

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  1. I am finding hope as I “think on the things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, anything excellent or praiseworthy” which is Christ’s death, resurrection, His sovereignty, and that He is always with me.

  2. I am presenting the “aroma of life” by sharing encouragement and laughter on social media. I am also serving other people as much as I can. I am helping a single dad 1-2 times a week who lost his wife about a year and a half ago by watching his 2 special needs children so he can go to work. I not only care for them but because I work with special needs kids professionally, I am able to help them with their remote learning.

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@Shari God bless you with your ministry to the children! I have a special needs sibling, one of several adopted ones who have had hard lives. Thanks to Jesus who gives us fortitude!

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I just read a devotional from Max Lucado about how Christ was dead and practiced silence the Saturday between Friday and Easter morning. I really have loved the truth and interpretation that he rested on the Sabbath even in death. I have been learning a season of silence myself, and its amazing how powerful and difficult silence can be. I believe it can be healing though as well. It’s a good time for me to re-read The Way of the Heart, by Henri Nouwen. You may enjoy that read again or for the first time as well. I am praying for peace and healing for you this Easter day. I love you.
Melody

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I am finding hope in our resurrected Lord and that He has overcome this world of troubles. When things at times SEEM to be hopeless, I remind myself that they are not, because there is nothing but hope!

I have been using what I have learned from the RZIM ministry via the podcasts, Academy courses, and Connect, to better understand those closest to me such as certain friends and family, that I know have personal struggles mentally and physically. I am working to be a better friend by better understanding their particular struggles in hopes to be able to encourage them. :blush:

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Hello
Ravi never ceases to amaze me - what a gift he is. I was so humbled and blessed reading his Easter reflection. This is what suffering looks like when we grab a hold of Christ’s hand and lean on him. Through thick and thin. I am inspired by Ravi and so incredibly grateful to our gracious God who is always there with us no matter what. God bless Ravi and family as they go through this difficult journey. I will continue to pray for him.

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Hi, Carson and crew in this thread. Ravi’s message was uplifting and sobering. Certainly I am finding hope through our risen Lord Jesus. Because He lives I may live also!

When we—I— ground my heart in the steadfastness of Jesus, His life, His death, His resurrection, and His life Now (He is risen!), the Holy Spirit will stir a confidence in the gospel that inspires courage to share this wonderful truth with others. The truth of Jesus Christ needs to blanket our land. I’ve been listening to Brother Tommy Bates from Kentucky online. He remarked that nothing takes place of personal evangelism. Some people will never tune in to a service to hear the gospel. To witness would be a prime way to spread the aroma of life. I don’t have a pulpit, but I have a life to lead. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, I and all followers of Christ can overcome feelings of intimidation, inferiority, and any other hinderance and be equipped and emboldened to share Christ. (Editing here to say that last sentence is a paraphrase of part of what Brother Bates preached in “Courage to Enter the Throne of Grace.” To hear his sermon, click the link and look for the 4/5/2020 AM service video. The preaching starts about 33 minutes in, but the praise and worship at the beginning is terrific. Courage to Enter the Throne of Grace ) May God help me be willing and able to see and act upon every opportunity to share Christ within my world.

God bless and lift up Brother Ravi and heal him in the mighty name of Jesus!

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Have check out Ravi book cry’s of the heart very insightful.

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Leah, I disagree, I have read many of your posts and pulpit or not you inspire me.
Mike

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Thank you, Mike. That’s encouraging. Connect is a place where I’ve been helped and encouraged by so many different people. I’m glad to be able to contribute.

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What a powerful blessing your interaction with these children must be! Once a therapist volunteered their time to my daughter and was literally God-sent! My daughter ended up having that therapy for a good while ahead of a big surgery to address several muscle contractions that existed prior to the therapy. The therapy made her stronger and better able to bounce back from the extended bed rest and related atrophy that followed the surgery. From the vantage point of a parent praying and wondering how life is going to go for your child who’s facing extra challenges, I repeat that your help must be God-sent.

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Leah, its God-sent for me too!! Helping others fills me up. Since I can work from home (which is also a huge blessing to me) I can certainly be with a few darling kids. Im an empty nester now so I welcome the time to nurture. Bless the Lord for equipping me and enabling me! I am most blessed!

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