And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives (Matt. 26:30)
What hymn? The last supper had just ended, and Jesus and his disciples sang a hymn, though the narrator doesn’t specify which psalm(s). A Passover meal included the singing of the Hallel, which were Psalms 113-118. According to Passover tradition, participants sang Psalms 113-114 earlier in the meal, and they sang Psalms 115-118 after the meal ended.
Back to my question: what hymn did Jesus and his disciples sing after the Passover meal ended? Psalms 115-118, from memory no doubt. Soon Jesus would be praying in the garden of Gethsemane and then arrested, so the timing of these psalms is powerful when we consider their content.
- Jesus would’ve sung Psalm 115:9-11, “O Israel, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield. You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.”
- Jesus would’ve sung Psalm 116:3-4, “The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the LORD: ‘O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!'”
- Jesus would’ve sung Psalm 118:5-7, “Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The LORD is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.”
- Jesus would’ve sung Psalm 118:22, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”
- And on that Thursday night, when Jesus prayed in a garden with a heart full of sorrow before one of the Twelve came to betray him, he first would’ve sung the words of Psalm 118:24, “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”