Jesus’ Hallel Before His Sacrifice: Praise in the Darkest Hour

Published on Mar 27, 2024
Category: Devotion | Behold!

Read Matthew 26:26-50

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Matthew 26:30

Jesus worshipped God the Father in His darkest moments.

Jesus had just had the Passover meal with His disciples. And the Bible says, Jesus, sang a hymn before He went to Mount of Olives, on His way to Gethsemane, and finally the cross. We don’t often think of Jesus singing, but He did. Jesus lifted His voice in adoration and worship to God the Father. “These words, interpreted by a reverent imagination, present one of the most wonderful pictures¦ They sing, and it is impossible to doubt that He led the singing.” (Morgan). What a beautiful thought and a powerful example of what God wants of us – to praise Him with singing.

A Passover meal always ended with singing three psalms known as the Hallel, Psalm 116-118, and are part of the Egyptian Hallel (Psalm 113-118). Hallel means praise.

Jesus sang the night before His crucifixion. Here are a few verses from these Psalms. Consider how they would have comforted Jesus as He sang them on the eve of His crucifixion, serving as a source of solace and strength.

The pains of death surrounded me, and the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!” (Psalm 116:3-4)

I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows to the LORD now in the presence of all His people. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints. (Psalm 116:13-15)

Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! (Psalm 117:1)

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. The LORD has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death. Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them, and I will praise the LORD. (Psalm 118:17-19)

The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. (Psalm 118:22-23)

Would you and I be able to sing knowing tomorrow holds pain and suffering of this magnitude?

What is your usual response when facing difficult circumstances or trials? What role does worship play in your spiritual life and relationship with God? Are there any specific songs or hymns that hold special meaning for you and help you connect with God more deeply? Would you ask God to give you a trusting heart of worship through suffering, to sing with the hymn-writer it is well with my soul?


Lord Jesus, I cannot even imagine what you must have gone through as you prepared to face the excruciating suffering and pain of the cross for me, but I thank you with all my heart. Grant me the grace to lift my voice in praise, even amid trials, knowing that You are with me every step of the way. Amen.

Scripture Writing: Habakkuk 3:17-19

Song: When Peace like a River


Preethi Alice Jacob

Preethi Jacob is the author of the yearlong devotional At the Potter’s Wheel, Day by Day. Her journey includes teaching a Bible Study Fellowship class, teaching and leading the Sunday School ministry in her church, leading Bible studies, besides counselling young women. She serves on the Global Mission Team of the United Bible Societies and lives in Bangalore, India with her husband and two young adult children.

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