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by Michelle Dee

A question that often puzzled me is whether Jesus would have crossdressed, had he been transgendered. (Remember, this is a supposition, not a revision of history!)

I believe he would have, only because Jesus' record on upholding the letter of The Law of Moses is clearly checkered. (Crossdressing was prohibited by the letter of the law. [Deuteronomy 22:5]) However, Jesus consistently upheld the spirit of The Law, and, as a result, he is our only acceptable sacrifice unto God for our sins.

Was Jesus a "Law"-Abiding Citizen?

Nowhere is this upholding of the spirit of The Law more evident than in Jesus' treatment of the woman caught in adultery. The Pharisees tempted Jesus into contradicting his philosophy of being cautious in judging others by saying, "In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" [John 8:5]

Jesus' legendary response is to ask someone without sin to cast the first stone, and the woman is allowed to live because no one in the crowd had never sinned, except for Jesus. (In fact, it would not have mattered who was in the crowd. Except for Jesus, everyone has sinned.) His statement to the woman is a powerful affirmation of what The Law intended, which was to expose sin when it existed, not to exact harsh punishment for the sake of playing by the rules. "Jesus straightened up and asked her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' 'No one, sir,' she said. 'Then neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared. 'Go now and leave your life of sin.'" [John 8:10-11]

In short, the primary function of the Law of Moses (at the time it was given) was as a training tool and defense mechanism for the Jewish people against the ungodly peoples encountered by the Jews during their emigration into the Promised Land. Jesus' main purpose in life was to fulfill The Law through his death and resurrection, removing the need to perform (sacrifices, offerings, anything!) in order to gain God's approval.

During his life on earth, Jesus reverses a long-standing Jewish view on divorce dating back to Moses by saying that God allowed the practice of divorce in Moses' time because the hearts of the Jews were hardened. [Matthew 19:8] Here, of course, the non-believer says that "The Bible is full of contradictions."

Jesus Fulfilled The Law

Jesus fulfills The Law throughout his life by clearly defining it. He declares two commandments as the most important above all: "To love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength," and "To love your neighbor as yourself." [Mark 12:30-31] He affirms that obeying these commands is more important than the rituals of sacrifices and burnt offerings. [Mark 12:33]

Jesus fulfills The Law through his resurrection by redrawing the path of access to God from adhering to The Law to accepting Jesus by faith as savior and blood sacrifice for sin. In fact, Paul, writing after Jesus' resurrection, says that No one will be declared righteous in God's sight by observing The Law; rather, through The Law we become conscious of sin. [Romans 3:20]

Okay, it sounds confusing. So The Law makes us conscious of sin. Is crossdressing the law of God today or not? Paul explains in the next four verses that we have a right standing with God apart from The Law, and that this "righteousness" is what The Law and the Old Testament prophets were pointing to: This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justfied freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ. [Romans 3:21-24] (Don't stop reading at verse 23!)

Can I or Can't I?

Is it still a bit of a mess? I know I'm justified by faith in Jesus Christ. Justified means "made just, made righteous." So, I'm innocent of sin in God's eyes and have the same righteousness Jesus had, because I'm actually in Christ by virtue of his resurrection. Because he was resurrected after death and ascended into heaven, I will, too. (The book of Revelation offers more graphic detail on this.) So can I crossdress or not?

The only way we could be deviating into sin is if we were moving away from God's commandments. Refer back to Jesus' two commandments he outlined as the primary commandments to us. Consider the first, which is to love God with everything we've got. Could I "love God" through crossdressing? It's pretty hard to "love" someone by the way we dress, especially since Jesus asks us, "Why do you worry about clothes?" [Matthew 6:28]

Okay. Now consider the second commandment: to love your neighbor as yourself. Forget loving your neighbor for a minute (but only a minute!). Think for a moment about loving yourself. What is it going to take to love yourself? Would God ordain it if we needed to express our sexuality more openly so that we could come to an emotional breakthrough in our lives which would facilitate our ability to relate to others and, especially, to God? An interesting question.

I am not advocating "redemption through gender expression," because Paul explicitly states that the righteousness we seek comes only through Jesus. I also do not suggest that we can obtain identity from gender expression. Nowhere in this Web site will I ever refer to transgendered expression as "gender identity." This is the essential problem facing the transgendered person! Our identity is not in our gender expression, but for the believer it is in Jesus Christ!

Therefore, if I am to "love my neighbor as myself," the first step is to love myself. If that involves crossdressing, SRS or anything in between or otherwise, God would certainly mean it to be for my good if it will help me obey these two commandments.

The Challenge

To the transsexual, I ask whether life had any real meaning at all before "the turning point" where changing sex became necessary for survival. Did you truly love your neighbor as yourself before that time? Or were you always missing something in your relationships with others because something was missing in yourself? Are things any different now?

To other transgendered people I would ask whether removing your gender expression will facilitate obeying this commandment. That is essentially the question at hand.

Jesus truly is a "whatever it takes" God if there ever was one! Cast your care upon the Lord. Perhaps this prayer will help:

God the Father, I thank you for Jesus, your son, whom you sent to be our eternal sacrifice for sin. He is righteous, and, because I believe in what he did for me, in your eyes I am like him. Lord, please help me to understand my sexuality, and to learn to love others more deeply through loving all the aspects of myself. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

This article is reprinted from Michelle Dee's now defunct website. If anyone knows how to contact Michelle Dee, please contact me.  Thanks!