Ravi Zacharias, founder and chairman of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), shared Easter reflections from his hospital bed, where he is currently being treated for soft tissue sarcoma. Since I was diagnosed with the the same cancer three years ago, I took interest in what he says below:
I’ve been lying in my bed thinking how much the physical world reflects spiritual truths. Cancer is literally one rogue cell that begins to replicate itself, bringing death closer each day and overtaking a genuine, life-giving cell. It’s amazing how this reflects the story of the fall in Genesis, when the Enemy of our souls caused Adam and Eve to question God: “Has God really spoken?” Instead of choosing the life-giving breath of God, they allowed the rogue cell of disobedience and self-determination to overtake and metastasize in all of humanity.
When we rebelled against God, there remained in God’s economy the need for a savior, a perfect savior. That perfect savior was provided by God himself in his Son. That gives an idea of how much God values every individual life. As the prophets foretold, the redeemer would come. He would be crucified and buried—the normal destiny of a spiritual cancer. But in an amazing prophecy, Jesus rose from the dead in three days, the victor truly victorious. God’s life-giving breath was restored to us.
And so with the apostle we can raise the question, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55). Sin is the rogue cancer cell within us, but the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus turned the tide in favor of God’s created order. So let us celebrate this Easter with gladness of heart and let us not look for life among death, because the grave is not victorious. It is the ultimate reversal of the fall, the ultimate cure.
- John Piper, “Don’t Waste Your Cancer” (Desiring God)