There’s a precious snippet of information, preserved in the gospels by both Matthew and Mark, from which we learn that Yahshua used to sing with His disciples! “After singing psalms,” records Mark, “they went out to the Mount of Olives” [Holman Christian Standard Bible,14:26]. Isn’t that lovely? I wonder what His voice was like? Was He a tenor, a bass, a baritone? Did He harmonise? I’ve pondered this verse often, musing over which Psalm they sang, imagining Him blending with us in worship; wondering why there is only one reference to song throughout His life.
It seems almost a casual comment at the end of the Last Supper, but was it? No doubt the song would have been one [or more] of the Hallel psalms, given the time of year, so why mention it? Is the clue in the ‘afterwards’? When those twelve male voices [what must it have sounded like?] ended the song, they went out to the Mount of Olives – and Yahshua was en route to Gethsemane. He was totally aware of His imminent destiny, steadily moving towards the sorrow and anguish of the garden, the humiliation of the Judgement Hall, the agony of His flogging, and the final brutality of Calvary. How awesome that He could sing in this valley of the shadow of death!
It’s easy to sing in life’s sunshine, isn’t it? But oh, how hard it is when ‘storm clouds’ gather over us. When circumstances seem to be tossing us about, or the darkness of trouble or despair clouds our hearts, it’s a rare accomplishment to be able to sing. Sometimes when trouble hits us we can feel that, somehow, we have brought it upon ourselves, done something to deserve it or displeased Yahweh somehow. But life happens, troubles come, we are “…born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upwards” [Job 5:7]. Take courage, Yahshua promises that He will not leave us without comfort [John 14:18]. When Paul was in trouble he wrote emphatically, “I am not ashamed for I know whom I have believed…” [2 Timothy 1:12 italics added]. Are you in trouble? Don’t be ashamed, go and find Yahshua, draw from His peace, and let Him teach you to sing!
Image provided by Val Warsop, "Worship at Passover"