Jesus’s Scars & Transgender Bodies
Growing up, I was taught that the Bible was God’s love letter to me.
But after I came out, I couldn’t seem to find a way in anymore. My faith became really intellectual and stale and dry until I was sitting in a seminary classroom and was revisiting the story of Doubting Thomas.
It’s a story where Jesus has been resurrected and he appears to the disciples, but Thomas wasn’t there. And when Thomas comes back, all of the disciples tell him that they’ve seen the resurrected Jesus, and Thomas says, “Until I see his scars “and put my hands in his side, I won’t believe.”
Well then Jesus appears again and Thomas simply falls to his knees and says,
“My Lord and my God.”
It’s this beautiful story of reconciliation and of relationship building. But the thing that really struck me about this story, sitting in this seminary classroom, is that Jesus, in His resurrected body, still had his scars.
Now, I don’t know about you, but the way that I was raised, I was taught that, when we got our heavenly bodies, we would be perfect. All of our scars would be gone and maybe we’d even be able to fly. But Jesus, here he is in his resurrected body and he still has his scars.
Now as a transgender man, I’m someone who lives with scars. And learning to love my body has been a really challenging journey. But this story of Jesus and Thomas tells me that resurrection isn’t about our scars going away; it’s about our scars becoming holy.
And I feel like if Jesus can learn to live with scars in his resurrected body, then maybe so can I and maybe so can you.
And that’s the way that we queer scripture and we see ourselves in the text again. It’s the way that this letter becomes, once again,