A captivating photo of a communion table, adorned with a chalice and hymnals, capturing the essence of the last supper and inviting contemplation on the hymn Jesus may have sung.

What Hymn Did Jesus Sing At The Last Supper?

The Last Supper is one of the most iconic events in the Bible, as Jesus gathered with his twelve disciples on the eve of his crucifixion.

An interesting question arises from this scene – did Jesus and his disciples sing a hymn during this fateful meal? If so, what hymn might it have been?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer:

The exact hymn Jesus sang at the Last Supper is not specified, although it is believed to be Psalms 113 through 118. Based on scripture, he likely sang a traditional Hebrew psalm of praise with his disciples called Hallel.

The Biblical Accounts of the Last Supper

Jesus’ Farewell Discourse and Washing of Feet

The night before his crucifixion, Jesus had his final meal with his twelve disciples (Matthew 26:20). This meal is known as the Last Supper.

During this supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet as an act of humility and service, setting an example for them to follow (John 13:1-15).

He then delivered a lengthy farewell discourse, offering encouragement, final teachings, and warnings about coming persecutions (John 13:31–16:33). Jesus used this last opportunity to equip his disciples spiritually for the challenges ahead.

Institution of the Lord’s Supper

As they were eating the Passover meal together, Jesus took bread and wine and shared them with his disciples, saying the bread symbolized his body that would soon be broken on their behalf and the wine represented his blood that would be poured out to institute the new covenant (Luke 22:14-23).

Christians today still celebrate what we call the Lord’s Supper or Communion, remembering Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross.

The Synoptic Gospels also record Jesus stating that he would not drink wine again until the kingdom of God comes, indicating he anticipated a messianic banquet in the future (Mark 14:25). This suggests the Last Supper pointed toward the hope of salvation and restoration yet to come.

Foretelling of Peter’s Denial

Jesus predicted that his lead disciple Peter would deny knowing him three times before the rooster crowed the next morning (Matthew 26:30-35).

This came to pass after Jesus’ arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, as Peter did indeed deny being associated with Jesus when questioned, just as Jesus foretold (Matthew 26:69-75).

The account reveals the disciples’ human weakness and need for divine grace.

Jesus likely sang a hymn with his disciples before departing for the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:30), as was the custom after Passover meals.

Biblical scholars speculate this may have been part of the Hallel sequence of psalms (Psalms 113-118) that praise God for deliverance.

Jesus and His Disciples Sang a Hymn

According to the Gospel accounts, after Jesus and his disciples had finished their Last Supper meal, they sang a hymn before departing for the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:30, Mark 14:26).

This poignant moment marked one of the last interactions Jesus had with his closest followers before his arrest and crucifixion.

Singing hymns was a common practice for Jews during religious festivals and observances. After celebrating Passover with a meal, it was traditional to sing from the Hallel section of the Book of Psalms (Psalms 113-118). These psalms praise God for delivering his people from slavery in Egypt.

Since Jesus and the disciples had just celebrated Passover, they likely sang one or more of these psalms that evening.

The specific hymns they sang are unknown, but some possibilities include Psalm 113, 114, 115, or the second half of the Hallel (Psalms 116-118). Psalm 118 seems especially fitting considering its messianic themes and how it foreshadows Jesus’ suffering.

For example, verse 22 states, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” Jesus would apply this verse to himself in his teachings (Matthew 21:42).

The Significance of Singing Before Jesus’ Betrayal

Why end their last meal by singing hymns? In ancient Jewish culture, singing psalms was more than entertainment – it was a way to impart spiritual truth and strengthen community.

By singing God’s praises together that night, Jesus and his disciples recalled God’s faithfulness, gave thanks for their deliverance, and unified their hearts before Jesus’ imminent death.

The hymn singing also reminds us that even in his darkest hour, with betrayal and denial looming, Jesus’ primary focus was glorifying God.

He took time to lead his disciples in honoring God before setting his face toward the cross. The hymn foreshadowed victory even in apparent defeat.

Just as Jesus sang hopeful psalms amidst deep sorrow, we too can sing praise in hard times, proclaiming God’s goodness and our enduring hope. Over 2000 years later, these ancient hymns still unite Christian voices worldwide in worship of our faithful Redeemer.

 A mesmerizing black and white photograph captures Jesus and his twelve disciples seated around a table, their expressions shrouded in mystery, evoking the historical moment of the Last Supper.

The Hymn was Likely a Traditional Hebrew Psalm

Psalms in First Century Jewish Tradition

Singing psalms was an integral part of Jewish worship and tradition during Jesus’ time. The Book of Psalms, known as Tehillim in Hebrew, was the hymn book of both the Temple and synagogue liturgy. Jews would sing or chant psalms during the three daily prayer services, as well as in rituals and feasts.

During the Passover Seder meal, Psalms 113-118, known as the Hallel (meaning “praise” in Hebrew) were traditionally sung. These psalms praise God for delivering the Israelites out of Egypt.

Psalms 113-118: The Hallel Psalms

The Hallel psalms (113-118) were joyful songs of praise used during major Jewish festivals. Psalm 113 opens the Hallel with a call to praise God. Psalms 114 and 115 recount God’s deliverance from Egypt. Psalm 116 expresses gratitude for God’s salvation.

Psalm 117, the shortest psalm, simply invites all nations to praise the Lord.

Psalm 118 was often called the “Conqueror’s Psalm” and contained verses of triumph over enemies. It was a perfect psalm for Jesus to sing in light of his impending death and resurrection.

Interestingly, Psalm 118 is quoted numerous times in the New Testament referring to Jesus – “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (Luke 20:17).

Psalm 118 and the Coming Passion

Psalm 118 has clear connections to the passion story. Verse 22, quoted in the gospels, refers to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Psalm 118:27 mentions a procession with branches, reminding us of Palm Sunday.

Verses 10-13 speak of persecution and being surrounded by enemies – a likely allusion to Jesus’ betrayers. Finally, verse 14 proclaims “The LORD is my strength and my defense ; he has become my salvation.”

This verse beautifully sums up Jesus’ purpose in dying for our sins and overcoming death through his resurrection.

Singing this psalm foreshadowed the critical events Jesus knew would soon take place according to God’s plan. Although Jesus likely sang all the Hallel psalms at the Last Supper, Psalm 118 stands out as most clearly prophesying the coming passion.

Two millennia later, we can still join voices with the disciples and Jesus in singing this ancient hymn of faith.

The Significance of Jesus Singing During the Last Supper

Jesus as the Fulfillment of the Passover

The Last Supper was a Passover meal that Jesus shared with his disciples before his crucifixion. As the fulfillment of the Passover lamb, Jesus’ actions during this supper took on profound meaning.

Singing hymns was an integral part of celebrating Passover, so when Jesus sang hymns at this final Passover meal, he was fulfilling the traditional Passover observance.

This signified the transition from the old covenant to the new covenant that Jesus would establish through his sacrificial death and resurrection. Jesus was about to become the ultimate Passover lamb who would deliver his people from slavery to sin.

So his singing signifies that he went to the cross in fulfillment of his messianic mission.

The hymns Jesus likely sang at this Passover meal included the Hallel Psalms (Psalms 113-118). These psalms praised God for deliverance and looked forward to future redemption.

By singing them, Jesus proclaimed he was God’s promised Messiah about to accomplish the long-awaited work of salvation.

His singing reflected his commitment to obey the Father and carry out his divine mission of redemption, even though he knew it meant going through suffering and death on the cross.

Jesus’ Example of Worship Before Suffering

Prior to his arrest and crucifixion, Jesus paused to sing hymns of worship to God. This displays his complete surrender to the Father’s will. Despite the anguish he felt regarding his impending suffering, Jesus put God first by worshiping and praising him.

He modeled for all believers how important it is to worship God, especially during difficult times. This brings glory to God when we trust his sovereignty even in the face of adversity.

Jesus’ singing also reveals his faith in God’s ultimate triumph. The Hallel Psalms declare God’s work of salvation and ultimate victory.

By singing these hymns, Jesus proclaimed his unshakable confidence that God would accomplish the redemption of mankind through his atoning death, even though it meant intense suffering for Christ.

His singing foreshadowed the victory to be completed on resurrection morning.

When believers follow Jesus’ example and turn to worship in the midst of trials, this demonstrates that God is still on the throne and will have the ultimate victory. Singing hymns of praise expresses trust in God’s power and love, just as Jesus did at the Last Supper.

As Christ’s disciples today, we can have the same unwavering faith Jesus displayed when he sang on his way to the cross.


While we don’t know definitively which hymn Jesus sang at the Last Supper, we do know that he engaged in worship with his disciples even as he anticipated his own suffering and death. Through singing psalms and hymns together, Jesus demonstrated love and unity with his followers until the very end.

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