Still Singing

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I am enjoying the privilege of spending lots of time studying Mark 14 and our Lord’s march to the cross to redeem his people from the slavery of sin, Satan, and death. I keep wanting to shout, “Hallelujah! what a Saviour!” Having just studied Jesus and the Passover, I have a better appreciation for why the Jews always sang the so-called “Hallel Psalms” (Psalms 113–118) at this feast. When it comes to God’s redemption of his people, there is so much of which to shout, “Hallelujah!”

There is so much to admire and adore about our Saviour. Near the top of that list must be his commitment to obey his Father despite what he knew would be horrific. We see this in displayed in Mark 14:12–26. As James Edwards captures it, “Jesus is not a tragic hero caught in events beyond his control. There is no hint of desperation, fear, anger, or futility on his part. Jesus does not cower or retreat as plots are hatched against him. He displays, as he has throughout the Gospel, a sovereign freedom and authority to follow a course he has freely chosen in accordance with God’s plan.

Knowing that he would be betrayed, that he would be crucified, that he would be abandoned by his Father as he became the sin-bearer for “the many,” his composure is remarkable. What grace, what love, what courage, what commitment, what faith. Faith enough to still sing while carrying the weight of a sinful world upon his shoulders.

In Mark 14:26 we are told that Jesus and his disciples left the upper room, after the Last Supper and the Lord’s Supper, having “sung a hymn.” As I’ve mentioned, this was probably Psalm 118—a psalm praising God for his steadfast love and covenant faithfulness. Jesus could still sing because his Father was still God. Jesus entrusted himself to his Father amid deep soul-darkness and this trust was reflected in song.

It has been said of Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper, “What astounding faith and trust must Jesus have had to have believed that his death would accomplish such a thing, and then to be so supremely confident that he could symbolically distribute the benefits of that death in advance of it happening!” (Ben Witherington). He had good reason to have faith in the Father for he has a track record of faithfulness. In fact, they had just celebrated this in the Passover meal! As Jesus reflected on the Father’s faithfulness, he had sufficient motivation to sing amid the coming storm.

Brothers and sisters let me encourage you this morning to keep singing. Whatever sunny or stormy day you are facing, the steadfast love of the Lord Jesus for you—displayed at the cross and sealed with his blood—provides the melody for your joyful response.

It is abundantly clear from this account in Mark that Jesus was orchestrating all things. He was not a victim; he was the Victor. The Lord Jesus Christ was the only person who has ever been the master of his own fate. And this provides his people with the assurance that he is trustworthy as master of theirs. If he is your master, then, regardless of the Golgotha you will face this week, may you find yourself encouraged in Jesus and, like Jesus, to be still singing.

Harmonising with you,

Doug