Christ Our Refuge

 

“Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares. And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment. These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger…. And he shall abide in it unto the death of the High Priest…” – (Num.35:11,12,15,25).

Who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” – (Heb.6:18).

 

   Six Levitical cities were set aside to provide refuge and safety for those guilty of accidental manslaughter. The manslayer was to flee to the closest city of refuge where he was given a fair trial and provided asylum there. If he left the city before the death of the high priest, he was subject to death at the hands of the avenger of blood. This law applied not only to the Jews but to the Gentiles in Israel also.

 

   These cities of refuge under protection of the High Priest while he lived is a beautiful type and symbol of salvation in Christ. “We… have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us” – (Heb.6:18). In other words, when the sinner flees to Christ for refuge he is safe from the divine revenger of blood. “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” – (Rom.5:9). And “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” – (Rom.8:1). Regardless of his sin, the sinner may find asylum and security in Christ, all who flee to Him for salvation find refuge. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” – (Jn.6:37). The born again believer is eternally secure from God’s vengeance. He is safe from the second death in the lake of fire – (Rev.20:11-20).

 

   It is the Lord’s vengeance that we must be mostly concerned with – “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord – (Rom.12:19). It’s the second death that we must be concerned about “… suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” – (Jude 7). Again “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” – (Rev.20:14,15). When we turn to Christ our High Priest for refuge, we are saved from the righteous vengeance of God. All of us who are saved by Christ are refugees from the wrath of God..

 

   Not just the Jews but the strangers of the Gentiles also may flee to Christ for refuge. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” – (Gal.3:26,28).

 

    Over and over the Bible tells us that the Lord is our refuge – “The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence” – (2 Sam.22:3). And Jesus Christ is Lord – He is our Savior and our refuge and our salvation. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” – (Ps.46:1). Again – “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overcast” – (Ps.57:1). Again – “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; one shall say, Destroy them” – (Du.33:27). In every city of the world we may flee to Christ for refuge from the vengeance of God upon us because of our sins. Christ is the only refuge for a sinner from the vengeance of God.

 

   In the Old Testament the accidental manslayer had no freedom or protection if he left his city of refuge. He was, even in his city of refuge, in a manner a prisoner, he was not totally free. So God would teach a horror and dread of the guilt of blood in killing someone and so be careful of life. Many accidental deaths could be prevented by being more careful.

 

    Only upon the death of the High Priest could he receive full freedom. Through the death of our great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, and His precious blood shed on the cross, we find our place of refuge and salvation. When Christ saves, our guilt is gone, we are forever free, we have eternal security. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” – (Jn.8:36). All sinners are dead in trespasses and sins and have no real freedom because sin reigns over us, it has dominion over us – (Rom.6:12,14). But when our High Priest saves us, He makes us free from sin – “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” – (Rom.6:18). Only when we’ve free born do we have unconditional freedom, as we use that freedom in a holy and righteous way.

 

   Jesus Christ is our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Unlike Aaron he was without sin. He was our High Priest who offered up himself as God’s supreme, perfect sacrifice for sin. Our high priest’s death on the cross saves us and gives us refuge from the vengeance of God and frees us from the bondage of sin – and now He’s alive forever more. “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless,, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people: for this he did once, when he offered up himself” - (Heb.7:26,27). PTL Jesus, our refuge.

 

   One of the cities of refuge was ‘Golan’ and we hear much about the Golan Heights in Israel today. It’s a rocky plateau and mountainous region in Northern Israel rising to 6,500 feet. It was used by Syria’s artillery to shell Israel after 1948. Israel seized the Heights in 1967 and again in 1981. It’s of great military value to Israel and also controls one third of Israel’s water supply. Israel also had a spy post on Mt. Hermon there. But Israel forgets who is their true defense and refuge – “But the Lord is my defense: and my God is the rock of my refuge – (Ps.94:22). There will be no refuge for Israel until they turn to the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved from their sins. There will be no peace for Israel till Armageddon when they turn to the Lord Jesus. The high place of Golan Heights cannot save them, only the Savior can. Jesus Christ is the refuge and salvation and freedom for the whole world.

 

   God will bring His beautiful city of refuge down to earth at the end of the 1000 year millennium of Christ – it’s called New Jerusalem. It will be for all the refugees who have fled to Christ for refuge and salvation. It’s a holy city for all the holy people made holy by the Holy Spirit in Christ. A city with only saved people in it. “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life’ – (Rev.21:10,24,27). This is the safest city in the universe under the protection and power of God the Father and our great high priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the great city of refuge that all of Christ’s refugees shall walk in. For we belong to a new nation – the holy nation of God (1 Pe.2:9). We live now in the midst of a wicked and perverse nation.

 

   Many thousands of Jewish refugees fled to unholy Old Jerusalem after WW II from countries in Europe and Asia. In 1948 these Jewish refugees established the nation of Israel after losing it for 1900 years because of their rejection of Jesus Christ. But they will never, never set foot in the holy city of God, New Jerusalem, unless they flee to Christ for refuge and salvation. The only way they can find refuge and asylum is by turning away from their sins and turning to Christ and have their name written in Christ’s Book of Life. They need to be saved by the Lamb of God who taketh away their sins. They must find refuge in Christ alone.

 

   At the battle of Armageddon, when the armies of the nations of the world attack Israel and they cannot win this war in their own strength and weapons, then a remnant of Jews will flee to Christ for refuge and the Lord Jesus will fight and win the war for them. “In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem…” – (Zach.12:8). “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle “ – (Zach.14:3). When they flee to Christ for refuge then they will know the truth of (2 Sam.22:3) “The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my Saviour: thou savest me from violence.” Again – “It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me,..” “And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies….” – (2 Sam.22:48,49). Our God is the great avenger of innocent blood. And it is His Son, the Lord Jesus, our great High Priest, to whom we must flee for refuge. The great tribulation is called- “The day of the Lords’ vengeance” – (Is.34:8) & (Luke 21:22).

 

   Have you fled to Christ to escape the vengeance of our righteous God? Are you saved and born again? If not, repent of your sins and believe on Christ in your heart by faith and you will receive forgiveness of sins and salvation. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life: but the wrath of God abideth on him” – (Jn.3:36). You will not escape the vengeance of God in hell – the vengeance of eternal fire - unless you flee to Christ for refuge. Praise God for His tender mercies and grace in providing us with refuge in His beloved Son on the cross. Do not spurn God’s amazing grace in his Son. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

 

   God said this about the cities of refuge – “That innocent blood be not shed in thy land…” – (Du.19:10). The crucifixion of Christ was the most innocent blood ever shed on planet earth, for He was sinless. And God made His sinless Son the refuge for sinners to flee to so that they may escape the vengeance of the Father. O how great is the mercy and love of God to sinners. The innocent blood shed of Christ on the cross became the place of refuge for sinners.

 

Christ our Refuge

  

Pastor Mike Storti

5000 N. LaCholla- Lot 76

Tucson, AZ  85705

Email: BibleWatchman@aol.com

Website: BibleWatchman.com

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