El Toro Negro (The Black Bull)

In the years I've travelled to Spain I've seen Osborne Bulls many times.  As well as on hoardings, I've seen them on towels, bumper stickers, t-shirts, flags and a whole host of other souvenirs.   It seemed it was a symbol of Spain - well it is actually and sports supporters in particular wear it with pride!

It was whilst on a visit to El Puerto De Santa Maria near Cadiz that I saw the Osborne HQ and black bulls everywhere that I made the connection and did the research and found that the black bull isn't as traditional as I thought and that it was the trademark of albeit one of Spain's oldest companies - founded by an Englishman in 1770 to produce sherry for the British market.

The bull is a symbol of strength and vitality - no wonder that the Spanish and other cultures developed a love of battling and trying to tame, even to humiliate them.   It was what made the bull a target for animal sacrifices.

In the Jewish system, bulls were slaughtered in respect of many kinds of offering, including sin offerings.  The problem with that system was that it was only there to cover sin in certain circumstances and not deal with the problem that most human beings are going to offend a holy God most of the time.   It made people ritually acceptable to God but not personally which is why the writer to the Hebrews said:  . it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

So what  can take away sins?  Not a lot really, which is why God had in mind a better way and that was to deal with the problem of human sin himself and he did that by coming a human being an paying the price for human sin himself.

And that's the story.   All he wants of men and women to realise is that Jesus has opened a way by which people can know him.  He offers it freely to anyone who will come and trust and follow him.