Have you noticed when you’re reading the Bible that sometimes words, phrases, or questions will jump off the page? You’ve read the verses multiple times before, but now you’re seeing something new. A truth, an idea, a question, a reality about God, or something new of spiritual value is revealed to you by God’s Holy Spirit.
Recently, I was reading the end of Matthew’s gospel and was focused in on the Last Supper, the agony of the Gethsemane prayer, the betrayal, the arrest, the denial, the trial, the torture and crucifixion of Jesus. Matthew 26: 30 was the verse that jumped off the page. Immediately following the Lord’s Supper, the verse says, “When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” What hymn did they sing? Jesus had just told them that one day he would drink the cup with them in His Father’s Kingdom, so was it a song about end times? Jesus was obviously in charge so did Jesus ask them to sing or did He just start singing? Did one of the disciples lead the singing? Since Jesus knew He was about to be tortured and crucified, did he feel like singing? What motivated/prompted them to sing at that moment? Did they know a lot of hymns?
We don’t know the answer to all these questions, but here are a few things we do know:
- The new covenant had just been explained and singing together was not only appropriate, it was the benediction to the Lord’s Supper – the broken body and blood of the covenant poured out for the forgiveness of sins.
- The song was important to them – so important that it was included in scripture.
- They had obviously sung together before, probably many times, because they knew the hymn.
- Singing was something they did together in this highlyspiritual worship moment.
We can be encouraged by the example Jesus and His disciples gave us. Their example inspires us to sing together as we express our faith and love for God.
“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord!” Psalm 95:1
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