Numbers 35:11, You shall appoint you cities.
All of the details in the Bible are there for a purpose and have different levels of meaning, application and fulfillment. On a literal or plain (Heb. peshat) level of meaning, the cities of refuge were an important aspect of Israel’s jurisprudence system. But on a symbolic and prophetic (Heb. drash) level, they point to something significant far beyond and above the literal meaning of the biblical text that relates to the salvation of the redeemed believer.
On the literal or peshat level meaning of the text, any person who had murdered someone unintentionally or accidentally could flee to a city of refuge and find a safe haven there until the wheels of justice could properly turn to determine the guilt or innocence of the murderer. The gates of these cities were perpetually open and were never closed to anyone for any reason. Anyone who was not guilty of intentional murder could find refuge there from vengeance by the victim’s family free of the fear of retribution for the duration of the high priest’s life. As long as the high priest was living, the murderer had refuge.
On a prophetic, metaphorical or drash level of understanding, the cross of Yeshua our Savior and Redeemer is that place of refuge for sinners where all can come in search of refuge and justice. At the foot of the cross, the Redeemer’s arms are always open wide to receive us, and the doors of salvation are never closed to anyone who desires it! The Scriptures speak of this.
Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them, and I will praise YHVH. This is the gate of YHVH, Through which the righteous shall enter. (Ps 118:19–20)
I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:9)
Yeshua is our Great High Priest in heaven who intercedes for sinners in the courtroom of heaven at the right hand of Elohim against Satan who is the accuser of the brethren. As long as Yeshua is alive and on our side as our Heavenly Advocate or Attorney, the saint has nothing to fear regardless of one’s past sins (Heb 8:1; 1 John 2:1).
Have you sought refuge at the foot of the cross, in the arms of Yeshua? Have you repented of and turned from your sins (i.e. violation of the Torah, see 1 John 3:4)? Has Yeshua the Messiah (as prophetically prefigured by the anointed high priest in Num 35:25) upon his death become your Savior or Redeemer and Lord or Master? Does he through his word and by the guiding influence of his Set-Apart Spirit or Ruach HaKodesh guide every aspect of your life including all of your words, thoughts and deeds? Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev 21:27)?
If you have surrendered to Yeshua and said, “yes” to your Savior, then how do you know that you have been saved from your sins? What are the fruits in your life that are evidence that your are set-apart or kadosh and consecrated unto YHVH, that you have passed from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, and that your heart, mind and life have been transformed? Yeshua said that by the fruits that our lives produce we will be known (Matt 7:15–20). The evidence of salvation are the fruit of the Spirit evidenced in a person’s life.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Gal 5:22–25)