Jesus was often referred to as “Rabbi” or “Teacher.” One of his missions on earth was to teach people of God’s love. He often did this by using examples.
In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus uses the example of a man building his house on a rock to teach about the firm foundation of faith in the one true God. Later, in Matthew 8:25-27, Jesus teaches that faith can calm the storm. The gospels are literally bursting with Jesus’ teaching by example. His parables are regularly used for this purpose in sermons the world over.
One message is repeated regularly; that of victory over death for the true believer. In order to teach this lesson, Jesus used himself as an example. Matthew 27:39-43, Mark 15: 29-32, and Luke 23:35-39, all repeat the same story of how Jesus was taunted while on the cross. “He saved others,” they said. “But he can’t save himself. He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him.” (Matthew 27:42, NIV)
But Jesus didn’t step down from the cross. He hung there and died for all to see. No matter how much he spoke about victory over death, for people to truly believe it, he had to die. And, Glory Hallelujah, He rose again on the third day and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that our God is most powerful. Our God, the one TRUE God, has power over all, including death.