Famed apologist Ravi Zacharias has been laid to rest in a coffin built by prisoners in Angola.
The late preacher, who died on 19th May after a short battle with cancer, wished for the inmates to craft the casket after being profoundly impacted by them while on a mission trip.
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries - the global apologetics organisation founded by Ravi - noted that he had spoken of this in his latest book, Seeing Jesus from the East.
RZIM noted that "the prisoners at Angola held a very special place in Ravi’s heart" and that "in a beautiful example of the Grand Weaver ever-present in Ravi’s life and death, it is these very prisoners who lovingly crafted the casket in which Ravi was buried."
The group noted: "With great insight, he wrote of the inspirational lessons one can learn from these dear brothers in Christ. Ravi did not know that his words would be full of so much meaning for his loved ones just a few months after they were penned. “These prisoners know that this world is not their home,” Ravi explains, “and that no coffin could ever be their final destination. Jesus assured us of that. Such is the gospel story."
Pastor Sam Allberry, who is a speaker for RZIM, led the private burial service on 21st May. Allbery gently ministered to the mourners by reminding them of a simple, blessed assurance - that all those who trust in Jesus will not perish, but will instead be granted eternal life. "Our hope,” Allberry said, “is as certain as Jesus’s grave is empty."
As Ravi’s casket was lowered into the ground, Allberry recited a few comforting words from poet and priest, George Herbert: “Death used to be an executioner, but the gospel has made him just a gardener.”
A memorial service held in honour of Ravi's life is scheduled for Friday, 29th May and will be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube.