This is the title of a beloved hymn that brings to mind Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem in the final week of his ministry:
“Before the rocks cry out, I just have to praise Him
Just have to thank Him, for all that He’s done
Before all nature rises up to shout, just have to thank Him
For all He’s done for me.”
Tim Sheppard has composed and sung a beautiful variation of this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNKrqURflEo
The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is recorded in all four gospels. This was the day of his presentation to Israel as the Messiah. It has been estimated that 2.5 million people were gathered at the city, more than one percent of the world population at that time. God had ordained that Jesus would be the Lamb of God, sacrificed on Passover.
John 12 records how the people wanted to see Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from the dead. His hometown of Bethany was about 1.5 miles from Jerusalem. However, the chief priests wanted to kill Lazarus. This was three days before Passover, which according to scholarly research began on Wednesday evening that week. (See for example, http://rcg.org/articles/ccwnof.html )
Jesus would soon fulfill the “sign of Jonah”, being in the grave for three days and three nights: Wednesday night, Thursday day, Thursday night, Friday day, Friday night, Saturday day, and rising from the dead sometime after sundown Saturday.
Jesus’ raising of Lazarus from the dead was also a sign to the people that their long awaited Messiah was now entering Jerusalem as prophesied:
John 12 (HCSB)
9 Then a large crowd of the Jews learned He was there. They came not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus the one He had raised from the dead. 10 Therefore the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus also 11 because he was the reason many of the Jews were deserting them and believing in Jesus.
12 The next day, when the large crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 they took palm branches and went out to meet Him. They kept shouting: “Hosanna! He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One—the King of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written: 15 Fear no more, Daughter Zion. Look, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first. However, when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. 17 Meanwhile, the crowd, which had been with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify. 18 This is also why the crowd met Him, because they heard He had done this sign.
19 Then the Pharisees said to one another, “You see? You’ve accomplished nothing. Look—the world has gone after Him!”
Many that day may have been seeing that their purpose, destiny and glory were in God, and that they were made for His love. The unhappy and grumpy Pharisees cried, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” Jesus replied, “If these did not praise God, even the rocks would cry out.”
For a moment the multitude recognized that this was the Messiah and responded with true worship. It was a moment of prophetic destiny as the sovereign will of God was being fulfilled in human history. Three days later Jesus would lay down his life as God’s Passover Lamb for all who believe.
Luke 19 (HCSB)
28 When He had said these things, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As He approached Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, He sent two of the disciples 30 and said, “Go into the village ahead of you. As you enter it, you will find a young donkey tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say this: ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 So those who were sent left and found it just as He had told them. 33 As they were untying the young donkey, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the donkey?”
34 “The Lord needs it,” they said. 35 Then they brought it to Jesus, and after throwing their robes on the donkey, they helped Jesus get on it. 36 As He was going along, they were spreading their robes on the road. 37 Now He came near the path down the Mount of Olives, and the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen:
38 The King who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One.
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven!
39 Some of the Pharisees from the crowd told Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out!”
God watches over His word to perform it. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey as prophesied by Zechariah 9:9, and in the exact time frame prophesied in Daniel 9:25-26 (KJV):
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: …”
[These “weeks” are periods of seven years; 69 * 7 = 483 prophetic years of 360 days from the date of Artexerxes’ decree in Nehemiah 2.]
God is so faithful and good! He watches over His word to bring it to pass. Palm branches are a symbol of triumph and victory. Jesus’ sacrifice and Resurrection were a victory for all who believe. The love of God changes us, and empowers us to be what we are created to be.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Cor. 5:17 KJV)
Psalm 92 describes a joyous people of praise, as we all are called to be:
12 The righteous thrive like a palm tree
and grow like a cedar tree in Lebanon.
13 Planted in the house of the Lord,
they thrive in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age, healthy and green,
15 to declare: “The Lord is just;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”