The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood (Hebrews 13:11-12).
Are you comfortable in your city home? Do you like the benefits of the city? There are many, but there are also many detractors such as crime, poverty and disease. I personally have never liked the city, even though I grew up in one. Perhaps I could say that I am in but not of the city. I am trying to not let the grime and crime of the city infect me. I would rather be outside and even in the rural.
Did you know that sin sacrifices in ancient Jerusalem needed to be dragged outside the city gates? Therefore, Christ Himself was sacrificed, crucified for our sins outside the walls of the city. There is a great truth and metaphor of being “outside the city.” Even though we might be near and even touching sin, we can be outside or away from it. How can we not get sick when living in it? By the blood of Christ we have been cleansed and made new. “God made Him who had no sin became sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). We are the ambassadors of Christ reconciling or making an appeal to the city dwellers to become “new creations” in Him. The old is gone and the new has come when we are “in Christ.” This is a decision all can make. Choose life or death.
Outwardly we are wasting away every day, but inwardly those in Christ are being renewed every day. Our hardships and trials are earning for us eternal life in Christ that cannot be taken away. When we die to sin through Christ’s sacrifice, we become alive in Him through His death. This is the exchanged life, a ransomed or converted one through Him who loved us and gave His life for us.
Christians are other or even alien from city dwellers. Even if we live in the city we are to be separate in the way we live so that the light of Christ may shine through us. We are to live away from the darkness and in the light. Even as we share the love of Christ everywhere, the stain of sin will not hurt us because of the blood of Christ covering us.