jesus is our city of refuge

Jesus Is Our City of Refuge

The Old Testament says someone is coming. In the Gospels, someone has come. In the Book of Revelation, someone is coming again. Jesus is the hero of the entire Bible. 

Jesus in Joshua 20

Speak to the children of Israel, saying: “Appoint for yourselves cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses, that the slayer who kills a person accidentally or unintentionally may flee there; and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood” (Joshua 20:2-3).

In ancient Israel, if a man was guilty of manslaughter, the nearest relative would avenge the blood of the person who had been slain.  But God, knowing that sometimes people are unfairly judged, appointed cities of refuge. 

Jesus is our city of refuge, our safety. Hebrews speaks of those who have come to Jesus as those “who have fled for refuge.” (See Hebrews 6:18.) 

Significant Names for the Cities of Refuge

So they appointed Kedesh in Galilee, in the mountains of Naphtali, Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim, and Kirjath Arba (which is Hebron) in the mountains of Judah. And on the other side of the Jordan, by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness on the plain, from the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead, from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan, from the tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 20:7-8).

By divine inspiration, the names of these six cities represent the character of the Lord Jesus Christ and what He does for us. 


Kedesh (or Kadesh) means “holiness.” You will not be saved apart from a holy Savior.  Jesus was the spotless, sinless Son of God.  Because He is holy, He is the only one who can save us. 


Shechem means “shoulder,”  or “support.”  The Lord Jesus is our strength. When Jesus goes out after one lost sheep, “he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” (See Luke 15:5.)

You are not able to live the Christian life—but the Lord will put you on His shoulders and carry you through. (See Psalm 46:1.)


Hebron means “fellowship.” God made fish to swim.  God made birds to fly.  God made you to know Him, worship Him, and fellowship with Him.  And until you do, you will never understand what you are meant to be. 


Bezer means “stronghold.” We find security in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He will not let you go.  He cannot. 


Ramoth means “exalted.”  Christ Jesus is sovereign, as the exalted Son of God. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).


Golan means “separated.”  Not only did Jesus save us from something; He saved us to something.  We are separated from the world. If you are not, it is because you have not trusted Christ. You cannot hold onto God with one hand and the world with another. 

The Nearness of the Cities of Refuge

God wanted anybody who needed help to have a city of refuge very near.

That speaks of Jesus, who is very, very near to you today.

 “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:8b-9).

All you have to do is believe what is already in your heart, and confess what is already in your mouth. He is there.  Believe Christ enough to confess Him as your personal Lord and Savior, and God says you will come into that place of refuge, and into eternal life.

Known for his evangelistic zeal and uncompromising commitment to the Word of God, Adrian Rogers was one of the greatest preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian...

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