The cities of refuge are mentioned several times in the Bible (Exodus 21:12-13; Numbers 35:9-34; Deuteronomy 4:41-43; 19:1-13; and Joshua 20:1-9). Out of the forty-eight cities given to the Levites, six were designated cities of refuge, and they were: on the west side of Jordan – Kedesh, Shechem, and Kirjath Arba (Hebron); and on the East side of the Jordan – Golan, Ramoth, and Bezar. These were cities of which those who had caused accidental death could flee for protection.
Today, according to book of Hebrews, Christ is our refuge (Hebrews 6:17-19). Let us look, therefore, at some parallels that exist between these six cities and Christ.
Parallel #1: These cities were accessible to all who dwelt in the land (Joshua 20:9). Even so, salvation today is accessible to all (Romans 1:16).
Parallel #2: Human activity (travel) was necessary to obtain physical salvation in these cities (Joshua 20:3). Even so, human activity is still required for spiritual salvation (Acts 22:16; Philippians 2:12).
Parallel #3: There was salvation in no other cities. Likewise, there is salvation in no other name (Acts 4:12) and in no other church (Ephesians 5:23 cf. Ephesians 4:4 cf. Ephesians 1:22-23; Acts 2:47).
Parallel #4: There is no mention of proxy running. Each person had to personally flee for refuge. Even so, each of us today must personally respond to Christ (Mark 16:15-16).
Parallel #5: The guilty party could not bribe his way out of the situation (Number 35:31-32). Likewise, we cannot bribe our way out of hell, or into heaven (Matthew 16:26 cf. Proverbs 11:4). Man cannot, in and of himself, earn salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Parallel #6: Peace could be found within the gates of these cities. Peace is through Christ Jesus (Romans 5:1; Colossians 1:19-23).
Parallel #7: One had to remain in one of these cities to continue in a saved state as long as the High Priest lived (Joshua 20:6). In contrast, our High Priest lives forevermore (Hebrews 7:23-25). We must therefore continue faithfully in Him forevermore (Revelation 2:10; 14:13; 1 John 1:7).