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  • Pastor Ken Jones

Tidbits of Truth

"Revealing The Redeemer"

Neatly imbedded in the pages of the book of Joshua (Ch. 20) is a passage of Scripture that reveals the person of Christ (in the Old Testament) in a most unique and unusual way. When Israel inherited the ‘Land of Milk and Honey’ Joshua divided the land among the 12 tribes. But the priestly tribe of Levi did not receive an ‘individual’ parcel of land. Instead, they received 48 cities as their inheritance (that godliness might be taught throughout the nation). Among their inheritance, 6 of those cities were designated as ‘Cities of Refuge’ places that people could flee to, in the event that they had accidentally taken another’s life. This was necessary because, regardless of how a person was slain, the victim’s nearest of kin (The Avenger of Blood) had an obligation to seek out and slay the ‘slayer’ of his family member. Ironically, the Hebrew word for the "next of kin" is the word "go'el". (We read about the ‘Goel’ in the book of Ruth, where Boaz was the near kinsman). However, the Goel’s responsibilities were actually 2-fold. They included, (1) redeeming of the property or the person of a relative that had fallen into debt; but also (2) the avenging, on the person of whom had taken the life of one of their kinsman. Thus a ‘Goel’ served as both ‘Redeemer For His Loved Ones’ but also as ‘Judge, Jury, and Executioner’ in behalf of a family member slain. Therefore, when a man committed manslaughter he would flee to the nearest ‘City of Refuge’ and as long as he remained in that city, the ‘Avenger of Blood’ could not touch him there. And, there he must stay until the presiding High Priest died. On the other hand, if he did choose to leave, then the ‘Avenger of Blood’ could legally take his life without fear of reprisal. What about the death of Christ? Was it 1st degree murder or manslaughter? Well according to Acts 2:23: Him (Christ), being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:” Based on this passage, God knew that Christ’s death was going to be necessary, therefore ‘God Had Previously Planned Christ’s Death’ (even before Adam had ever sinned)—that’s ‘Premeditation’! But from man’s involvement in the matter, it would be considered ‘Manslaughter’. Was not it Christ Himself who, from the cross made the statement: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do?” Thus the argument could be made that mankind did not intend to kill Christ, but it was through ‘OUR’ ignorance (and because of ‘OUR’ sins ‘WE’ killed Him; for it is true that ‘Our Sins’ demanded His death, but our part in His death was not driven by the maliciousness of our hearts. Were we guilty? Absolutely, but we were guilty of manslaughter, not of murder in the1st degree. So, with ‘US’ being guilty of manslaughter, we only have one option to escape death, ‘Flee to a City of Refuge’. Only, ‘Who’ is our ‘City of Refuge’? Well according to Psalms 9:9: “The LORD also will be a ‘REFUGE’ for the oppressed, a ‘REFUGE’ in times of trouble.” Thus, Jesus is our ‘City of Refuge’. And just how long shall we have to stay in the City of Refuge? …Until the death of the High Priest. Only who is it that is our High Priest? Well, according to (Hebrews 4:14) “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God…” Our High Priest is none Other Than Jesus Christ! Thank God for our ‘City of Refuge’ that the Father supplied thru His Son that we might run into and find safety; only don’t misunderstand this point: for all who reject Jesus one day He shall be (to them) the ‘Avenger of Blood’. Nevertheless we can ‘Thank God’ that for ‘ALL’ willing to accept Him as Savior, that He is not just our ‘City of Refuge’ and not just our ‘High Priest’ but He also fulfills the role as our ‘Kinsman Redeemer’ providing for each of us, (through His death and resurrection) a way out of this mess called Sin! (Romans 15:4)

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