The Bible provides a record of the God's intention for the Cities of Refuge (Numbers 35:6-38; Joshua 20:2-3). When God divided the Promised Land between the tribes of Israel, He apportioned to each tribe vast tracts of real estate. It was in this land that God's people would dwell, and it was from this land that they would derive their livelihood. Out of the 48 cities, God instructed the Levites to set apart six cities that would be distinctly different from the other cities to serve a unique function. "Speak to the children of Israel," God told Joshua, "saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood".
The 48 cities were to be scattered among Israel to be her marvelous available blessing. However, there were 6 cities of refuge, three on each side of the Jordan River. The cities of refuge represent Jesus Christ as the redeeming God, into whom mistaken sinners can flee for refuge. Furthermore, the distribution of the 6 refuge cities in different places indicates that Jesus is near and available. As indicated in Psalm 9:9, "The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble".
The cities of refuge were to be not only for the children of Israel but also for the strangers and sojouners among them. This reveals that Jesus, as the cities of refuge whom God has spread among men, to the very place where we are, for all those who make mistakes, is for all mankind.
What a wonderful salvation to all the mistake-making mankind!