Six Days Before The Passover
Bethany was a small village on the side of the Mount Of Olives (the Mount Of Olives is where Christ's "Olivet prophecy" was given; see Instructions To The End-Time Church), about an hour's walk from Jerusalem. It was the home town of Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary, all of whom were close friends of The Prophet Of Galilee. He often visited them, even once raising Lazarus from the dead (see The Lesson Of Lazarus). From His teachings, and the Holy Spirit that enabled them to "hear" what He was saying, they became aware that The Christ was going to be sacrificed as the Lamb of God.
Six days before the ultimate Passover, Lazarus, Martha and Mary hosted a farewell dinner for The Messiah in their home. Although they had visited and eaten together before, this occasion was different. While even the apostles did not yet fully realize that the Christ was going to be killed in a few days, Lazarus' sister Mary did understand enough.
"12:1 Then Jesus six days before the Passover [see Christ's Passover; listen also to the Sermon Christ's Passover: The Death And Birth Of The Saviour from our Sermons page] came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
"Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord"
As typical of his prophesied contempt for the Son of God (see The Long Shadow Of Judas), Judas the traitor protested Mary's act of worship.
"12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
The raising of Lazarus from the dead had become a well-known event. Many became believers because of it. But to those who were too full of themselves to have any room left for Truth (see Is Your Religion Your Religion?, What's Your Angle? and Lethal Lust), they planned to murder Lazarus because of the miracle, along with the Messiah himself (the Bible record does not state whether they got Lazarus, but it's very likely that they did).
"12:9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
The next day, the Christ made His famous entry into Jerusalem. Note how the awareness of the resurrection of Lazarus (see Why Were Their Deaths Interrupted?) was a part of that event too.
"12:12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast [see the Fact Finder question below], when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 12:13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried,
Fact Finder: How is Passover the first step in the fulfillment of the meanings of the rest of the other true Christian Holy Days?