Recently, a rather insignificant sentence leaped off the page - the obscure black print after the all important Red. I was reading in the Gospel of Matthew and came across Matt 26: 30: When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Hymns traditionally sung at the conclusion of the Passover fellowship were Egyptian Hallel Psalms – Psalms 115-118 –and were sung as praise. Excuse me? Singing and Praise? But He knew. He knew betrayal was coming. He knew that He would bear the weight of the sin of the world and that His Father would soon turn His Face away. He knew there would be excruciating pain and darkness would descend. And those He loved would scatter, even one who professed allegiance unto death.
And yet, still He sang.
Obedience moved his voice and then it moved his feet as He assumed the path of suffering for me. He was motivated by a love that I can’t possibly grasp and He gave a gift I can’t possibly earn.
But He also knew that a time was coming when the curtain would be torn and an empty grave would cease the sting of death. And eventually there would be no more tears. You see Jesus understands about hard things like chemotherapy, loss of a child and divorce. He’s been to those impossible places of suffering that look as if nothing good can come from them and He's come back with the victory.
Most of us sing praise when we are joyful and have a kick in our step but hardly en-route to our own crucifixion. This makes me ask myself: How do I love those I know will betray me? How do I face my accusers? How do I walk an avenue of guaranteed suffering and put my feet to the pavement when the storm is brewing and I feel like giving up? And yet still sing?