Jesus, The Sinner's Refuge

Joshua 20:1-3

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Joshua 20:1-3

Jesus Christ is the hero of the Bible; every book, every illustration is about Him. If we look closely, we see He stands in the shadows of the Old Testament; when we do, every detail of Scripture is given a new meaning.

In Joshua 20, God instructs Joshua to explain the cities of refuge to His people:

“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).

These six cities of refuge are highly symbolic and teach us more about Jesus, the Sinner’s Refuge.

Hebrews 6:18 says, “...we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us…”

There is great significance in the names of these six cities, which reflect Jesus Christ.

  • Kedesh means a place of holiness. Above all things, Jesus Christ is holy.
  • Shechem means shoulder or support. We are carried on the shoulders of our Savior, who gives us strength.
  • Hebron means fellowship; it speaks of Christ, our satisfaction, and the divine joy of fellowship with Him.
  • Bezer means stronghold or fortification; Christ is our security, the One who keeps us.
  • Ramoth means exalted; it speaks of Christ our sovereign, the One whom we worship.
  • Golan means separate; after Jesus, we are not the same. Through sanctification, we are made new day by day.

God wanted people to have safety and refuge, so He strategically placed the six cities throughout Israel. The roads were clear and level with signage that pointed travelers in the right direction.

Likewise, Jesus has made a way to Himself; our City of Refuge is always near. He is closer than our next breath, for everyone who confesses He is Lord and believes in Him can be saved. (See Romans 10:13.) It is not enough to be near the city of refuge: we must enter in and begin a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Apply it to your life

Adrian Rogers says, “To be almost saved is to be altogether lost.”

If you are inside the city of refuge, thank God for Christ our salvation, strength, and satisfaction. If you’re not, come in today; receive Jesus Christ. Warn and educate friends and tell them about the city of refuge.