“Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion. For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.” (Psalm 22:12,13)
The Serpent has an army of Bulls, Lions, and Dogs. The metaphor is full of meaning. A bull charges forward in rage, a lion stalks and pounces, and dogs bark and bite. This speaks to us of the combined assault of the demonic realm against The Child.
It also shows how cowardly devils really are. Note that they do not attack until The Child is beaten and nailed to the Cross — defenseless. For all their snorting, growling, and yelping — they are nevertheless puny in their actual powers.
After He was baptized in the Jordan, The Child faced The Serpent in the Wilderness. There He was tempted, and stood His ground. At one point The Serpent challenged Him to cast Himself down off a high place, quoting Scripture in a mocking tone, “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”
How interesting that he leaves the rest of that scripture out of his quote — “You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot” (Psalm 91:11-13 ESV). Curious how The Serpent avoids certain Bible verses, don’t you think?
But as the defenseless Child hung upon the Cross, His demonized enemies, with the vigor of bulls and rapacity of lions, surround him, eagerly seeking His ruin. The attack was fierce, savage, and violent — but unsuccessful in turning His heart from faith in God.
Let’s read on in this astounding Psalm —
“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet” (Psa 22:14-16).
And then The Child cries out to His Father, ““But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to help Me! Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog. Save Me from the lions mouth and from the horns of the wild oxen!” (Psalm 22:19-21)
And just before He draws His final breath, The Child says, “I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You. You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, and fear Him, all you offspring of Israel! For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from Him; but when He cried to Him, He heard” (Psalm 22:22-24 NKJV).
Despite the worst The Serpent could level against Him, The Child did not lose faith.