According to several sociological studies, one of the most common nightmares that people experience is being naked in public. Have you ever had that dream? You had to give a big speech or accomplish some important task, and you looked down to see that you had no clothes! You look around for help, but all you can see are dozens or even hundreds of laughing, mocking faces staring back at you.
Of course, many versions of this dream have taken place in many nightmares. But few people have ever experienced it for real… but Jesus has.
Please read Psalm 22:12-13.
The bulls of these verses are metaphorical. Bashan was a wonderland of pastures which, in Scripture, are often filled with rams, lambs, goats, and bulls. These animals have plenty of land on which to roam and get their fill, which leads to them growing big and fat, with strong muscles.
Having spent some time in Texas, I can tell you that a strong bull is nothing to mess with, much less “many bulls” encircling you! Jesus is describing a horrible predicament!
As Jesus hung on the cross, His garments had been divided up among the soldiers. Scholars debate whether He wore a small loin cloth or was completely naked on the cross. Either way, He was publicly lifted up with little or nothing to cover himself. This would have been nightmarish enough, but then there were the bulls.
The priests, elders, scribes, Pharisees, and others in the crowd were exercising their strength as the one whom they so hated was finally being destroyed. To the Suffering Servant, these religious leaders appeared as strong bulls all around: mocking Him, hurling insults at Him, deriding Him, and blaspheming God. They were strong, violent bulls. No, they were more than bulls; they were “roaring lions.” They weren’t satisfied merely to see Him humiliated; they wanted to see Him destroyed!
Talk about a nightmare! Our Lord and Savior allowed Himself to hang helpless while evil men taunted Him. He was a lamb surrounded by hungry lions.
The next time you have this nightmare, remember that Jesus actually lived it out. The next time you find yourself in a difficult situation, remember that Jesus was there first. The next time you think that Jesus could never relate to the pain you are feeling, remember the pain He felt on the cross.
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).
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