They Sang A Hymn

My thoughts and pondering this Easter morning……

Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26 add an interesting tidbit to the story of the Last Supper. “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives”. Have you ever wondered what hymn they sang?  No other place in scripture records that Jesus or his disciples sang. What do you think they sounded like?

This song was at the end of a very troubling, sorrowful, unsettling, full of questions, Passover meal. Jesus had shocked their social culture by washing their feet. They could hardly bear it. He served them bread and wine and said that this was his body and blood. He revealed some troubling news about his imminent death and asked if they had a sword. They swore that they would die with him. Judas had been singled out as the one who would betray their beloved friend and teacher and fled into the night to do his evil deed. And so they sang. There is no explanation of significance for us Gentile believers decades later.

I suspect it was mournful, sad and subdued. But when we dig a little deeper, there is a little more to this hymn that just the statement “they sang a hymn”.

The Greek word used for this word hymn is “humnos”. Humnos was used to speak of the Psalms of Israel. From ancient times it was ordained that the Passover Seder would always end with the singing of songs, specifically the Psalms, and a very specific set of Psalms called the Hallels. The Passover would end with the singing of the last of these, Psalms 118.

Take a few minutes to read Psalms 118.  Verse 22 says “The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.”  Rejected also means despised. Who was to become the despised, rejected stone? Isaiah 53 says, “He (Jesus) was despised and rejected by man….”. For two thousand years that song was sung, the song of the rejected stone at the end of every the Passover meal. On this very Passover, within hours of singing, it would be fulfilled.

Immediately after singing that hymn, Jesus took his disciples to the Mount of Olives where in great agony of prayer, he yield to the will of his Father. Soon afterwards, Jesus was arrested, despised, and rejected. Jesus, “the stone” was cast away to be crucified. The despised, rejected man on the cross would end up becoming the “cornerstone of faith” for all people, all civilizations and all of history. In God, the object of man’s hatred becomes the center of His love, and the object of man’s despising becomes the vessel of His glory. How amazing is that? And it was all there that night in the song of the stone, sung by Jesus and his disciples at the close of the Passover Seder.

(Thoughts and some direct quotes were taken from “The Book of Mysteries,”  Day 99, by Jonathan Cahn).

Note: I have been using “The Book of Mysteries” by Jonathan Cahn this year for my devotions. It is a powerful study of the words of scripture making them come alive, just like this example of the hymn. I had never given a second thought that there was meaning and purpose behind it. Pat

1 Comment »

  1. Kendra L Said:

    That’s interesting! I’ve noticed that sentence too, but never stopped to think what hymn that might have been.


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