Week beginning: 20th December, 2015
By Dominic Hughes | London
"…select some towns to be your cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone accidentally may flee.
But if the accused ever goes outside the limits of the city of refuge… the avenger of blood may kill the accused … The accused must stay in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest; only after the death of the high priest may he return to his own property."Extracts from Numbers 35 (NIV, 1984 edition)
Wait – you mean the law teaches us more than just the rules?
The laws governing the cities of refuge are set out in a few different passages in the Bible.
To use the language of law school – if A killed B accidentally, A could flee to a city of refuge so that he was safe from a person, C, who sought to avenge B's death. But there was one problem – after fleeing there, A was effectively trapped. He would have to remain in the city until the high priest died. Only then could he leave and return home.
But did you spot that it's the death of the high priest that releases someone from the captivity of living in a city of refuge?
There's a resonance here with something much, much bigger…
The book of Hebrews repeatedly demonstrates that Jesus is our great high priest. And His death – the death of the True High Priest – is what gives us true freedom from captivity.
This Christmas, as we dwell on his birth, remember this: the True High Priest who would one day liberate all who trust in Him was on His way – light was dawning on those living in captivity.
A very Merry Christmas to you all.
1. Give thanks to God, and pray for, all those who, often unsung and sacrificially, enable LCF and Church events to happen.
2. As the year draws to a close, why not pray through the words of Hebrews 13:20-21 (NIV) and ask "…the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, [to] equip you with everything good for doing his will, and [that he may] work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."