Topic: Jesus, Your City of Refuge
Scripture: Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. Luke 23:34, KJV
The Lord told Joshua that when the children of Israel entered the land of Canaan, they were to designate six cities of refuge. Back in those days, if someone unintentionally killed a person, the closest relative of the deceased had the legal right to avenge him. However, in His mercy, God appointed six cities and said, “Anyone who kills another person accidentally and unintentionally can run to one of these cities; they will be places of refuge from relatives seeking revenge for the person who was killed” (Josh. 20:3, NLT).
The cities of refuge were designed for people who had committed unintentional manslaughter, not for those who had carried out premeditated homicide. Deuteronomy 19 explains this, stating: “If someone kills another person unintentionally, without previous hostility…the slayer may flee to one of the cities of refuge to live in safety” (vv. 4–5, NLT).
The six cities of refuge are also a beautiful picture of our Lord Jesus, hidden for us to unveil. They are shadows that point to the substance—our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, He is concealed. In the New Testament, He is revealed.
At the cross, our Lord Jesus put all our sins, including the sin of crucifying Him, under the category of “unintentional” when He prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34, KJV). He was not just referring to Israel or the Romans; all our sins nailed Jesus to the cross. He chose the nails and offered us complete forgiveness. Can you see how good and merciful our God is?
Today, if you call upon the name of Jesus, you are qualified to run to Him and take Him as your city of refuge. Jesus is your city of refuge, and when you run to Him for refuge, the one seeking revenge (a picture of the devil) no longer has power over you. My friend, we were all sinners and the wages of sin is death (see Rom. 6:23). Before the cross, the devil had the legal right to put a death sentence over your head because of your sins. But the good news of the gospel is that Jesus took that death sentence at the cross, and in Christ we can receive His forgiveness and His protection. Hallelujah!
This devotional is adapted from The Prayer of Protection Devotional. Find out more about the book here.