Why Three Days?
The OT sacrifices restored a temporal fellowship with God, it wasn't perfect. Jesus' sacrifice does restore that perfect fellowship. Hebrews refers to the OT as a shadow of good things to come. A shadow is an outline, perhaps a basic blue print. It is not the true image of the thing (Christ and the NT), just a blueprint. So I've begun looking at it. Tell me what you think.
1: Burnt Offering
2: Meat Offering
3: Peace Offering
4: & 5: Sin + Trespass Offering
Then the Laws of...
6:8-13 the Burnt Offering
6:14-23 the Meat Offering
6:24-30 the Sin Offering
7:1-10 the Trespass Offering
7:11-34 the Peace Offering
The Passover - Ex. 12
The Day of Atonement (a special Sin Offering once a year) - Lev.16
When more than one sacrifice was presented (as in Num 6:16-17), the procedure was usually as follows;
1) Sin Offerings or Trespass Offerings; sin must be dealt with [expiation]
2) Burnt Offerings; the worshipper must commit themselves to God [consecration]
3) Peace Offering (aka free-will offering) and Grain Offerings along with a Drink Offering; the worshipper must establish fellowship between God, the Priest, and themselves [communion]
What I found interesting is that the Burnt Offering had to flayed (stripped, invaded, pulled off, put off - i.e. 2 Pet.1:14) referring to the skin. This flaying or skinning of the burnt offering reminds me of the brutality Jesus went through under the Roman scourge (designed to remove the flesh from the victim - e.g. Psa 129:3).
Because the Burnt offerings committed the worshipper to God it seems Christ also had to commit even through the torture and pain. But it seems the same applies to us also that our commitment is also tested as in 1 Pet.2:20 & Rom 5:3-5. (Shall Jesus bare the cross alone and all the saints go free?)
It seems the skin was removed because the unworthiness of the worshipper was transferred to the sacrifice and the worthiness of the sacrifice was transferred to the worshipper (e.g. Isa 53:3-6). The Burnt (olah) offering was described as a sweet savour unto God. Therefore we know that it burned like incense (ascension) as opposed to being destroyed by fire or burned down (descension). The entire animal was burned except the flesh. Apparently God didn't want that part. It reminds me of when Christ hung on the cross and asked why God forsook him.
Once the Burnt offering was complete the priest would change his garments and put on other clean garments and take the ashes of the Burnt offering and carry them unto a clean place. When they took Christ down from the cross they wrapped him in linen (a symbol of righteousness) and laid him a sepulchre where no man had yet been laid (e.g. John 19:41). It was a clean place, it had not seen any corruption, neither did Jesus' body. Whether through decay or contact with anything unclean.
The Peace Offering (shelem) conveyed the idea of peace on the ground of perfection of compensation or recompense. Hence, connected with the thought of rendering payment of vows or praises because of peace enjoyed.
A typical Peace offering was eaten on the first day and burnt or destroyed by fire on the second day. However, if the Peace offering was for a vow (a promise or oath) it was eaten on the first and second day then burnt (destroyed, burned down) by fire on the third day, thus all was fulfilled and complete. But Christ having become an High Priest, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, which is to say his flesh, was not destroyed but rather rose on the third day.
We find that God also made a promise (Genesis 12:1-3; 17:10-13; 22:16-18) and confirmed that promise with an oath or vow (Hebrews 7:21; 2:16; 11:12) "The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." Hence, the relevance of "three days."