Numbers 35:15, "These six towns will be a place of refuge for Israelites and for foreigners residing among them so that anyone who has killed another accidentally can flee there."
Old Testament times were harsh. If you were accused of an accidental killing, the avenger of the slain had every right to enact the same revenge - unless you were inside a city of refuge. If you could get to a city of refuge, you would remain there for protection until the death of the high priest. At that time, you could return to your home without fear of retaliation.
Now, you might be thinking, "What on earth can I gain from knowing this in 2021?" The truth is cities of refuge were a picture of Jesus! Let's look at some of the parallels below:
1. Both Jesus and refuge cities are open to all people in need, not just the Israelites, without fear of
being turned away when we seek protection.
2. Both are the only alternative for those in need. Without this specific protection, we face death.
3. Full freedom for us and those who needed a city of refuge comes with the death of a high priest.
However, there is one crucial distinction! Cities of refuge are helpful only to the innocent - those who needed to flee after an accidental slaying. With Jesus, only the guilty, those who've admitted that they are sinners in need of a Savior, can find safe harbor.
Praise the Lord that our high priest, Jesus Christ, has already died and resurrected for our sins! Not only can we find refuge in Him, but we can also find salvation and freedom. Jesus' single sacrifice heals, protects, and transforms our lives.
Lord Jesus, I take you as my refuge and my salvation. Thank You for dying for me, so I don't have to live in fear but can, instead, enjoy Your presence. Amen!