Psalm 22, continued
“Be not far from Me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
They gape at Me with their mouths, like a raging and roaring lion. I am poured
out like water, and all My bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it has
melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings
to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded
Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My
garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”
As we’ve dug deep into Psalm 22, it has been difficult for us to look at our Savior hanging upon the cross of Calvary. Today will be difficult as well, maybe even more so than in times past, because today we are going to look through the eyes of Christ; we are going to see firsthand what it was that He saw; we are going to hear Him describe the condition of His wounded body. Please continue with me on this journey to the foot of the cross, for it was there that His wounded body healed our battered souls.
Have you ever seen the great Bull Fights of Spain? When I first read this passage of Scripture my mind immediately thought about the matador standing in the center of a huge arena waving his red rag in the face of an angry bull. I was interested to know a more about bull fighting so I did a little research. I hope you’ll find this as interesting as I did.
There are different stages of a bull fight or Corrida. Everyone involved in the fight enters the arena and presents himself to the public. During this time the bulls are behind closed doors which surround the arena and they know what is to come; they stomp their feet and snort in anger ready to gore the matador to death. Each matador is required to face two bulls and defeat each of them. The matador starts out using a large rag made of purple and yellow cloth. Banderillas, barbed darts with streamers attached to them that are stuck into the neck and shoulders of the bull, are used during the fight by the matador to wound the attacking bull. In the final stage of the fight the matador uses a muleta, small rag made of red cloth, to entice the angry bull to come near him. This smaller cloth is used to display the fighters great skill and mastery of the animal as the angry bull charges him time and time again before the bulls eminent death. The fight between man and beast ends with the matador killing the bull by his sword.
As Christ hung on the cross clothed in nothing but a crown of thrones and blood drenched, torn flesh the great strong bulls of Bashan, the priests and the elders, the scribes and the Pharisees, rulers and captains, surrounded the cross longing to gore Him to death with their insults and cruelties. They stomped their feet and raised their clinched fists in anger as Christ hung upon the tree. “Be not far from Me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help,” Christ calls out to His Father, “I have nothing left in Me. My strength has been poured out like water from a jar. Every bone in My body is crying out in pain. My heart has melted like wax because of the fierce wrath of God that has come upon Me due to sins of mankind. I am broken; I am bruised; I am torn to pieces. My thirst is so great I cannot even open my mouth. I am surrounded by a great crowd of evil, wicked men. They have pierced My hands and My feet and have beaten me so severely that my skin has been ripped open wide allowing them to count the bones of my body. They stare at me with mouths gaped open and laugh as they gamble for my clothes. Oh, be not far from Me, Lord; for trouble is here.”
The angry bulls stomped their feet, hurled their insults, clothed Christ in garments of purple, speared Him and beat Him. They mocked Him and enticed Him to turn His back on the mission He had been sent to earth to complete. In the end Christ, clothed only in the red blood drenched flesh of His precious body, was surrounded by the bulls. The bulls, the enemy, Satan himself, thought they had won. Yes, Christ’s death was eminent- death had been appointed to Him- BUT, eternal life had the victory. Christ defeated the strong bulls of pride, of sin, of anger, of death and rose victoriously from the grave. When Christ called out, His Father heard and answered.
Do you have a need today? Cry out to your heavenly Father, He will hear and He will answer.