Christ: Our City of Refuge

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).

About Bryan Hodge

I am a minister and missionary to numerous countries around the world.
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