Excerpt #2 from Open Before Christmas....
Joseph Damien was a nineteenth-century missionary who ministered to people with leprosy on the island of Molokai, Hawaii. Those suffering from leprosy grew to love him and revered the sacrificial life he lived out before them.
One morning before Damien was to lead daily worship, he was pouring some hot water into a cup when the water swirled out and fell on to his bare foot. It took him a moment to realize that he had not felt any sensation. Gripped by the sudden fear of what this could mean, he poured more hot water on the same spot. He had no feeling whatsoever.
Damien immediately knew what had happened. As he walked tearfully to deliver his sermon, no one at first noticed the difference in his opening line. He normally began every sermon with, “My fellow believers.” However, this morning he began with, “My fellow lepers.”
In an even greater way, Jesus came into this world knowing what it would cost. Like Joseph Damien, Jesus was willing to identify with the suffering of those whom he came to serve. Jesus bore in his pure being the marks of evil so that we might be made pure. He allowed the serpent to bruise his heal, so that by his stripes we might be healed. (Isaiah 53:5)