Cities of Refuge – A Type of Christ
Cities of refuge were places of safety for someone who accidentally killed another person and therefore was in jeopardy of being killed in retaliation by the dead person’s avenger of blood. They were not sanctuaries for criminals.
“The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.” Joshua 20:1-3
There were six cities designated: three east of the Jordan River and three west of it. They were placed so that all in the Land might take advantage of this provision if needed. The route to deliverance was well marked. “Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither.” Deuteronomy 19:3 So also is the way of deliverance from the penalty of sin prepared and well marked. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”John 3:15, 18
It was prepared for the Jew but available to the Gentile. See Numbers 35:15. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” John 1:11-12
Outside of the Cities of Refuge there was no protection for the individual, and inside the city it only lasted until the then current High Priest died. In Christ, we have a high priest that lives forever, and we are saved to the uttermost when we receive Him as our personal savior. (Hebrews 7:24-25)