News of celebrated evangelist Ravi Zacharias' death has sent a shockwave throughout Christian circles, with celebrities, authors and influencers continuing to respond to the tragic loss.
Zacharias' daughter, Sarah Davis, released a statement on Tuesday announcing her father's death after a short battle with sarcoma; the news came just days after it was revealed that doctors had done all they could to treat his cancer.
Davis, CEO of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, spoke to the power and importance of her dad's faith, and praised her father's impressive, 48-year ministry.
"It was his Savior, Jesus Christ, that my dad always wanted most to talk about," she wrote. "Even in his final days, until he lacked the energy and breath to speak, he turned every conversation to Jesus and what the Lord had done."
Though it is a tragic time for the Zacharias family, Davis said that they are "at peace" and are "filled with deep gratitude to God for the innumerable expressions of His love."
Christian leaders were quick to respond to the tragic news with prayer and fond memories of the influential apologist.
"We lost a real treasure and champion of the faith today. @RaviZacharias has gone to Heaven," Pastor Greg Laurie tweeted. "Ravi was scheduled to speak at our Church this month, but that was meant to be. Thank God for the thousands of lives he touched."
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina added that Zacharias' death would be "felt for a long time" and said he will continue to pray for the apologist's family "as they continue his legacy here on Earth."
We lost a real treasure and champion of the faith today. @RaviZacharias has gone to Heaven. Ravi was scheduled to speak at our Church this month, but that was meant to be. Thank God for the thousands of lives he touched.— Greg Laurie (@greglaurie) May 19, 2020
The loss of Ravi Zacharias will be felt for a long time. As Ravi is now in heaven, I’m praying for his family as they continue his legacy here on Earth. pic.twitter.com/GFd6ueMUu5— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) May 19, 2020
Famous NFL star Benjamin Watson expressed his gratitude to Zacharias for challenging people with both "truth and love," and publicly thanked the apologist for all he had done.
"#ThankYouRavi for being steadfast in your calling and for demonstrating Christ’s love in explaining our hope!" Watson said. "You your family and ministry are in our prayers."
Other tributes were similar in nature, with Franklin Graham appropriately calling Zacharias "one of the great Christian apologists of our time" and with singer Crowder mourning the loss of a "friend and a teacher."
.@RaviZacharias, one of the great Christian apologists of our time, has stepped into the streets of glory & into the presence of the King of kings & Lord of lords. He is pictured here w/me & our friend, Sami Dagher, in 2017 at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians. pic.twitter.com/cjLdTGulmQ— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) May 19, 2020
Today heaven rejoices & welcomes home a giant of the faith. Today we miss & mourn the loss of a friend & a teacher.— David Crowder (@crowdermusic) May 19, 2020
“When you come to a religion, you come to a place. When you come to Jesus, you come to a person.” @RaviZacharias
Today Ravi meets Jesus in person. That’s amazing pic.twitter.com/nilHO0EUzQ
Let's all continue to pray for Zacharias' family, friends and loved ones.
You can see Zacharias in his own words in Kirk Cameron's "Revive Us 2." And we'll leave you with some of the other touching tributes that continue to pour in:
Rest In Peace to a man who has given so much to so many. You will be missed. Prayers for the family, friends, and followers of @RaviZacharias. We are all better for knowing you. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/4KROHGSpwN— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) May 19, 2020
RIP Ravi Zacharias. Incredible man of faith, with amazing ability to communicate and with a world class intellect. Graduating too young at 74.— Dave Ramsey (@DaveRamsey) May 19, 2020
Mourning our loss of @RaviZacharias but grateful he is now safe in the arms of his beloved Savior. Such a towering intellect, such a kind and caring gentleman. Thankful for his life of serving and proclaiming Christ.— Lee Strobel (@LeeStrobel) May 19, 2020
To my friend, my mentor and a great hero of the faith @RaviZacharias — Thank you.— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) May 19, 2020
I know I’ll see you again and I look forward to that day. Love you brother!
My deep condolences go out in the passing of @RaviZacharias. I want to express my gratitude for his work & ministry. Ravi vigorously defended the faith as a leading apologist for Christianity around the world. We as the church of Jesus Christ are stronger because of him.— Tony Evans (@drtonyevans) May 19, 2020
Last year I had the great honor of this time with the legendary @RaviZacharias. Please watch & RT & pray that the work of @RZIMhq thrives in continuing the work Ravi began. What a faithful instrument of God he has been in so many lives! Today he is home. https://t.co/FBjqAHV6Qq— Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxas) May 19, 2020