Easter hope for transgender hurt

Transgenderism | Christ died for sinners of all kinds to restore the image of God in people made for His glory
by Jamie Dean
Posted on Friday, April 14, 2017, at 1:40 pm

It wasn’t intentional for WORLD Magazine’s recent cover story package on transgenderism to fall close to Easter, but in this week of reflecting on Christ’s death and resurrection, it seems fitting. (See “Suffer the children,” “Sounding the alarm,” and “Walt’s story.”)

We reported on men and women and boys and girls with tragically distorted views of God’s created design. God made each person in His own image, male and female, but sin has twisted the reflection of God’s image for the transgendered in tragic ways.

It does in all of us.

Apart from God’s grace, none of us see our own sinfulness or our need for Christ’s atonement. Perhaps our outward bodies don’t show the signs of sinful distortion as dramatically as those of some transgender people, but we each fail to see the depth of our sin, and how desperately we need a Savior. Sin twists gratitude into discontent, humility into pride, purity into impurity, and the worship of God into idolatry of self.

We are all disfigured.

As I continue to think about reporting on transgenderism, my sorrow deepens for those like the 17-year-old girl National Geographic displayed bare-chested with deep scars from a recent mastectomy. And the 9-year-old little boy on the cover, with long hair, dressed as a girl.

Here are children altered dramatically from their formers selves, much like some transgendered adults who break their own bodies to change their own image, and become nearly unrecognizable.

That brings us to Passion Week.

The Old Testament prophet Isaiah famously foretold the brokenness of Christ in the crucifixion we remember on Good Friday. Reading Chapter 52 again this week stopped me in my tracks:

“As many were astonished at you—his appearance was so marred beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind …”

Here is Christ at His crucifixion, beaten and bloodied, bearing God’s wrath for sinners—and nearly unrecognizable.

Christ’s taking on the sin of those who have twisted God’s image meant that His own image was marred “beyond human semblance.” The image of the invisible God became unrecognizable for those made unrecognizable through sin.

Christ’s taking on the sin of those who have twisted God’s image meant that His own image was marred “beyond human semblance.”

Here is the good news of Good Friday: The sinless Christ became sin—in all of its outward displays and hidden dreadfulness.

Here is the good news of Easter: Christ rose from the dead and folded up the facecloth that had covered his marred image. Now His face was transformed with the glory of His resurrection. And because He is risen, sinners can be transformed too.

That transformation requires faith in Christ and hope for the ultimate change to come when Christ returns.

Chuck and Nancy Snyder, a Christian homeschooling couple, sum this up beautifully in writing about loving and helping their son who believed he was transgendered.

The Snyders didn’t gloss over the distortion of their son’s sin. They didn’t give him comfort in his confusion. Even when it was painful, they told him the truth of Scripture and the hope of Christ.

And they await their own transformation.

The Snyders write that in their own suffering they “fight for glimpses of God’s glory in His Word and His world. One day, however, our faith will be sight. We will see Him as He is, and be changed to be like Him.” 

That is possible because Christ died on Good Friday, and rose again on Easter Sunday—and because He’s still risen.

He is risen indeed.

Jamie Dean

Jamie is WORLD’s national editor based in Charlotte, N.C. Follow Jamie on Twitter @deanworldmag.

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