Redemption took on new meaning for me last night.

Jeremiah, a Messianic Jew involved with Jews for Jesus, stood at the front of the room. As he led us through the Passover Seder, he explained the Christian symbolism of each element. Amazingly, each one points to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Messiah.

Throughout the presentation, Jeremiah emphasized the word “Redemption.” Each time he asked us to repeat the meaning with him: “God bought back what rightfully belonged to Him.” God created us, but we were separated from Him because of our sin. We needed a Savior who would “buy us back.” God’s Son Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the price that bought our freedom to enjoy a personal relationship with God.

Jeremiah concluded with a story. A young boy had crafted a small, beautiful boat, with the help of his father. The last thing the boy did was paint his initials on the side. After father and son walked to the water’s edge, the son placed the boat on the surface and held on to the string he had tied to the back of it.

Grinning from ear to ear, the son watched the boat sway from side to side at the gentle persuasion of the breeze. Suddenly, a strong gust of wind ripped the string from his young fingers. He ran along the bank as fast as he could, but the boat sped ahead of him. He closed his eyes as big tears streamed past his quivering chin.

One day while walking on the sidewalk in their small town, he glimpsed something in a store window. It looked like a rusty boat. Drawing closer, he squinted through the glass and spotted his initials on the side.

Rushing into the store, he announced. “That’s my boat. Can I have it?”

The owner explained, “Another young boy brought that in and I paid him for it. You can have it if you pay me $10.”

In desperation, the boy raced home and emptied the money from his piggy bank on to his bed. Gathering the required amount, he ran back to the store and laid his coins on the counter. The owner smiled, walked over to the window, picked up the boat and set it in the boy’s waiting arms.

Beaming with joy, he walked outside. As he looked down and cradled his boat he said, “I owned you twice. I made you, then I lost you, and now I have bought you back.”

The imagined joy on his face will remain in my heart as I consider, once again, the indescribable love of my Father who allowed His Son to die so He could “buy me back.” That’s redemption.