"‘Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge…’ "- Joshua 20:2 NIV
In Old Testament times, if you killed someone by accident, their family had the right to take your life in return. So God arranged six ‘cities of refuge’, three on either side of the Jordan River, so that no matter where you were you had access to God’s mercy and protection. You just ran to one of those cities, told the town elders your story, and they were required to take you in. The only stipulation was that you stayed in that city until the high priest died. When that happened, you were free to return to your family and take back everything you’d lost. Can you see a spiritual parallel here? Jesus Christ is called ‘…the High Priest of our confession’ (Hebrews 3:1 NAS). When you run to Him for refuge, you need only confess your sins. There, at the point of faith, you are forgiven, viewed as ‘a new creation’, and placed in God’s protective custody. Just as ‘the avenger of blood’ couldn’t enter the city of refuge, satan cannot cross ‘the blood line’ and hurt you either. When Jesus cried from the cross, ‘…It is finished…’ (John 19:30 NIV), all your sins from the womb to the tomb were paid for in full. And because Christ your great High Priest died and rose again, He will restore back to you everything you lost as the result of sin’s power in your life. One author puts it this way: ‘If there were a thousand steps between us and God, He will take all but one. He will leave the final one to us. The choice is ours.’ So come to God’s city of refuge today.