How Death Brings Life (Numbers 35)

In Number’s 35, the Levites inherit land and cities that serve as a refuge to any person who accidentally kills another person. Yet there is one provision. The year the high priest dies the people in refuges cities are released and set free. The death of the high priest frees the condemned people.

This seems a strange provision to modern ears, but it reminds us of another provision. The death of Jesus––our great high priest––sets us free from our condemnation.

Unlike the accidental killers of Numbers 35, we willingly sin against God. We deserve death because we trespass against God’s laws. Yet the death of another sets us free. The death of Jesus paid our sin debt and welcomed us back into the city of God. We are no longer refugees in hiding, but free sons and daughters of the King. Because the high priest died we get to live free. And because the high priest rose again we get to live free with him, forevermore!

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