Bulls of Bashan

“Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me.” Psalm 22:9-13

The Roman soldiers who surrounded the cross would not have been the last ones picked for most activities. They would have been the first. They were strong, mighty, the power team of their day. They would have had the stamina to withstand adversity and take on the enemy with full vigor. They were known to be stocky, muscular, vigorous, able to handle a whip as well as a sword.

We might say as strong as an ox.

It is the reason they are compared to the bulls of Bashan.

The fields in Bashan were rich, fertile, abundant grasslands, with refreshing streams and the cattle raised there were known to be large and strong.

But these soldiers were not compared to cattle, they were compared to bulls. There is a difference.

Bulls are powerful, aggressive and will fight for dominance. These Roman soldiers were the same way.

They were pitted against Jesus, who stood before them without saying a word. He had done nothing to deserve the severe beating but they gave it to Him anyway. He had done nothing to warrant the mocking abuse, but they laughed and submitted Him to every sort of pain they could imagine.

They tore at His flesh and tried to destroy His spirit but with everything they did, He responded in silence.

His prayer?

“Father forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.” And they didn’t know. Had they known and recognized the Truth, they would have laid their whips at His feet, fallen in worship before Him and cried out for forgiveness.

They were too busy showing off their power to recognize the real power before them.

I have to ask myself how often do I miss His power before me?

Lord, help me to recognize Your power in my life.

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