“When they had sung a hymn,
they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Matt. 26:30
Thirteen men in a room singing a hymn — just try to picture it.
Jesus had washed their feet, had presided over the Passover meal and had revealed that one would betray Him. Jesus had talked about His blood being poured out and His body being broken. And then they all sang a hymn together. The fisherman and the Sons of Thunder and the tax collector and the radical patriot. And Judas. They sang a closing hymn.
Oh, to hear the voice of God singing.
According to Jewish Passover tradition, Psalms 113-118 were the “Hallel” psalms, used during this special feast. Psalms 113 and 114 were sung before the Passover meal and Psalms 115-118 were recited or sung at the conclusion.
It’s chilling to read Psalm 118, imagining Jesus and The Twelve sitting together in that emotionally charged room, lifting their voices in song.
- The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
- The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.
- I will not die but live, and proclaim what the Lord has done.
- The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.
- This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
- Oh Lord, save us! (Hosanna!)
- Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Nine hundred years before these words were sung by Jesus,
the psalmist wrote them on a scroll.
Just hours after singing them,
the Savior fulfilled them.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Psalm 118:1, 29