Summa Th. III EN Qu.53
We have now to consider those things that concern Christ's Exaltation; and we shall deal with (1) His Resurrection; (2) His Ascension; (3) His sitting at the right hand of God the Father; (4) His Judiciary Power. Under the first heading there is a fourfold consideration: (1) Christ's Resurrection in itself; (2) the quality of the Person rising; (3) the manifestation of the Resurrection; (4) its causality. Concerning the first there are four points of inquiry:
(1) The necessity of His Resurrection;
(2) The time of the Resurrection;
(3) Its order;
(4) Its cause.
Objection: 1. It would seem that it was not necessary for Christ to rise again. For Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iv): "Resurrection is the rising again of an animate being, which was disintegrated and fallen." But Christ did not fall by sinning, nor was His body dissolved, as is manifest from what was stated above (Question , Article ). Therefore, it does not properly belong to Him to rise again.
2. Further, whoever rises again is promoted to a higher state, since to rise is to be uplifted. But after death Christ's body continued to be united with the Godhead, hence it could not be uplifted to any higher condition. Therefore, it was not due to it to rise again.
3. Further, all that befell Christ's humanity was ordained for our salvation. But Christ's Passion sufficed for our salvation, since by it we were loosed from guilt and punishment, as is clear from what was said above (Question , Article ,3). Consequently, it was not necessary for Christ to rise again from the dead.
On the contrary It is written (Lc 24,46): "It behooved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead."
I answer that It behooved Christ to rise again, for five reasons. First of all; for the commendation of Divine Justice, to which it belongs to exalt them who humble themselves for God's sake, according to Lc 1,52: "He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble." Consequently, because Christ humbled Himself even to the death of the Cross, from love and obedience to God, it behooved Him to be uplifted by God to a glorious resurrection; hence it is said in His Person (Ps 138,2): "Thou hast known," i.e. approved, "my sitting down," i.e. My humiliation and Passion, "and my rising up," i.e. My glorification in the resurrection; as the gloss expounds.Secondly, for our instruction in the faith, since our belief in Christ's Godhead is confirmed by His rising again, because, according to 2Co 13,4, "although He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God." And therefore it is written (1Co 15,14): "If Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and our [Vulg.: 'your'] faith is also vain": and (Ps 29,10): "What profit is there in my blood?" that is, in the shedding of My blood, "while I go down," as by various degrees of evils, "into corruption?" As though He were to answer: "None. 'For if I do not at once rise again but My body be corrupted, I shall preach to no one, I shall gain no one,'" as the gloss expounds.Thirdly, for the raising of our hope, since through seeing Christ, who is our head, rise again, we hope that we likewise shall rise again. Hence it is written (1Co 15,12): "Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how do some among you say, that there is no resurrection of the dead?" And (Jb 19,25 Jb 19,27): "I know," that is with certainty of faith, "that my Redeemer," i.e. Christ, "liveth," having risen from the dead; "and" therefore "in the last day I shall rise out of the earth . . . this my hope is laid up in my bosom."Fourthly, to set in order the lives of the faithful: according to Rm 6,4: "As Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life": and further on; "Christ rising from the dead dieth now no more; so do you also reckon that you are dead to sin, but alive to God."Fifthly, in order to complete the work of our salvation: because, just as for this reason did He endure evil things in dying that He might deliver us from evil, so was He glorified in rising again in order to advance us towards good things; according to Rm 4,25: "He was delivered up for our sins, and rose again for our justification."
Reply to Objection: 1. Although Christ did not fall by sin, yet He fell by death, because as sin is a fall from righteousness, so death is a fall from life: hence the words of Micheas 7:8 can be taken as though spoken by Christ: "Rejoice not thou, my enemy, over me, because I am fallen: I shall rise again." Likewise, although Christ's body was not disintegrated by returning to dust, yet the separation of His soul and body was a kind of disintegration.
2. The Godhead was united with Christ's flesh after death by personal union, but not by natural union; thus the soul is united with the body as its form, so as to constitute human nature. Consequently, by the union of the body and soul, the body was uplifted to a higher condition of nature, but not to a higher personal state.
3. Christ's Passion wrought our salvation, properly speaking, by removing evils; but the Resurrection did so as the beginning and exemplar of all good things.
Objection: 1. It would seem unfitting that Christ should have risen again on the third day. For the members ought to be in conformity with their head. But we who are His members do not rise from death on the third day, since our rising is put off until the end of the world. Therefore, it seems that Christ, who is our head, should not have risen on the third day, but that His Resurrection ought to have been deferred until the end of the world.
2. Further, Peter said (Ac 2,24) that "it was impossible for Christ to be held fast by hell" and death. Therefore it seems that Christ's rising ought not to have been deferred until the third day, but that He ought to have risen at once on the same day; especially since the gloss quoted above (Article ) says that "there is no profit in the shedding of Christ's blood, if He did not rise at once."
3. The day seems to start with the rising of the sun, the presence of which causes the day. But Christ rose before sunrise: for it is related (Jn 20,1) that "Mary Magdalen cometh early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre": but Christ was already risen, for it goes on to say: "And she saw the stone taken away from the sepulchre." Therefore Christ did not rise on the third day.
On the contrary It is written (Mt 20,19): "They shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to be mocked, and scourged, and crucified, and the third day He shall rise again."
I answer that As stated above (Article ) Christ's Resurrection was necessary for the instruction of our faith. But our faith regards Christ's Godhead and humanity, for it is not enough to believe the one without the other, as is evident from what has been said (Question , Article ; cf. II-II 2,7,8). Consequently, in order that our faith in the truth of His Godhead might be confirmed it was necessary that He should rise speedily, and that His Resurrection should not be deferred until the end of the world. But to confirm our faith regarding the truth of His humanity and death, it was needful that there should be some interval between His death and rising. For if He had risen directly after death, it might seem that His death was not genuine and consequently neither would His Resurrection be true. But to establish the truth of Christ's death, it was enough for His rising to be deferred until the third day, for within that time some signs of life always appear in one who appears to be dead whereas he is alive.Furthermore, by His rising on the third day, the perfection of the number "three" is commended, which is "the number of everything," as having "beginning, middle, and end," as is said in De Coelo i. Again in the mystical sense we are taught that Christ by "His one death" (i.e. of the body) which was light, by reason of His righteousness, "destroyed our two deaths" (i.e. of soul and body), which are as darkness on account of sin; consequently, He remained in death for one day and two nights, as Augustine observes (De Trin. iv).And thereby is also signified that a third epoch began with the Resurrection: for the first was before the Law; the second under the Law; and the third under grace. Moreover the third state of the saints began with the Resurrection of Christ: for, the first was under figures of the Law; the second under the truth of faith; while the third will be in the eternity of glory, which Christ inaugurated by rising again.
Reply to Objection: 1. The head and members are likened in nature, but not in power; because the power of the head is more excellent than that of the members. Accordingly, to show forth the excellence of Christ's power, it was fitting that He should rise on the third day, while the resurrection of the rest is put off until the end of the world.
2. Detention implies a certain compulsion. But Christ was not held fast by any necessity of death, but was "free among the dead": and therefore He abode a while in death, not as one held fast, but of His own will, just so long as He deemed necessary for the instruction of our faith. And a task is said to be done "at once" which is performed within a short space of time.
3. As stated above (Question , Article , ad 1,2), Christ rose early when the day was beginning to dawn, to denote that by His Resurrection He brought us to the light of glory; just as He died when the day was drawing to its close, and nearing to darkness, in order to signify that by His death He would destroy the darkness of sin and its punishment. Nevertheless He is said to have risen on the third day, taking day as a natural day which contains twenty-four hours. And as Augustine says (De Trin. iv): "The night until the dawn, when the Lord's Resurrection was proclaimed, belongs to the third day. Because God, who made the light to shine forth from darkness, in order that by the grace of the New Testament and partaking of Christ's rising we might hear this---'once ye were darkness, but now light in the Lord'---insinuates in a measure to us that day draws its origin from night: for, as the first days are computed from light to darkness on account of man's coming fall, so these days are reckoned from darkness to light owing to man's restoration." And so it is evident that even if He had risen at midnight, He could be said to have risen on the third day, taking it as a natural day. But now that He rose early, it can be affirmed that He rose on the third day, even taking the artificial day which is caused by the sun's presence, because the sun had already begun to brighten the sky. Hence it is written (Mc 16,2) that "the women come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen"; which is not contrary to John's statement "when it was yet dark," as Augustine says (De Cons. Evang. iii), "because, as the day advances the more the light rises, the more are the remaining shadows dispelled." But when Mark says "'the sun being now risen,' it is not to be taken as if the sun were already apparent over the horizon, but as coming presently into those parts."
Objection: 1. It would seem that Christ was not the first to rise from the dead, because we read in the Old Testament of some persons raised to life by Elias and Eliseus, according to He 11,35: "Women received their dead raised to life again": also Christ before His Passion raised three dead persons to life. Therefore Christ was not the first to rise from the dead.
2. Further, among the other miracles which happened during the Passion, it is narrated (Mt 27,52) that "the monuments were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had slept rose again." Therefore Christ was not the first to rise from the dead.
3. Further, as Christ by His own rising is the cause of our resurrection, so by His grace He is the cause of our grace, according to Jn 1,16: "Of His fulness we all have received." But in point of time some others had grace previous to Christ---for instance all the fathers of the Old Testament. Therefore some others came to the resurrection of the body before Christ.
On the contrary It is written (1Co 15,20): "Christ is risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that sleep---because," says the gloss, "He rose first in point of time and dignity."
I answer that Resurrection is a restoring from death to life. Now a man is snatched from death in two ways: first of all, from actual death, so that he begins in any way to live anew after being actually dead: in another way, so that he is not only rescued from death, but from the necessity, nay more, from the possibility of dying again. Such is a true and perfect resurrection, because so long as a man lives, subject to the necessity of dying, death has dominion over him in a measure, according to Rm 8,10: "The body indeed is dead because of sin." Furthermore, what has the possibility of existence, is said to exist in some respect, that is, in potentiality. Thus it is evident that the resurrection, whereby one is rescued from actual death only, is but an imperfect one.Consequently, speaking of perfect resurrection, Christ is the first of them who rise, because by rising He was the first to attain life utterly immortal, according to Rm 6,9: "Christ rising from the dead dieth now no more." But by an imperfect resurrection, some others have risen before Christ, so as to be a kind of figure of His Resurrection.
Reply to Objection: 1. And thus the answer to the first objection is clear: because both those raised from the dead in the old Testament, and those raised by Christ, so returned to life that they had to die again.
2. There are two opinions regarding them who rose with Christ. Some hold that they rose to life so as to die no more, because it would be a greater torment for them to die a second time than not to rise at all. According to this view, as Jerome observes on Mt 27,52-53, we must understand that "they had not risen before our Lord rose." Hence the Evangelist says that "coming out of the tombs after His Resurrection, they came into the holy city, and appeared to many." But Augustine (Ep ad Evod. clxiv) while giving this opinion, says: "I know that it appears some, that by the death of Christ the Lord the same resurrection was bestowed upon the righteous as is promised to us in the end; and if they slept not again by laying aside their bodies, it remains to be seen how Christ can be understood to be 'the first-born of the dead,' if so many preceded Him unto that resurrection. Now if reply be made that this is said by anticipation, so that the monuments be understood to have been opened by the earthquake while Christ was still hanging on the cross, but that the bodies of the just did not rise then but after He had risen, the difficulty still arises---how is it that Peter asserts that it was predicted not of David but of Christ, that His body would not see corruption, since David's tomb was in their midst; and thus he did not convince them, if David's body was no longer there; for even if he had risen soon after his death, and his flesh had not seen corruption, his tomb might nevertheless remain. Now it seems hard that David from whose seed Christ is descended, was not in that rising of the just, if an eternal rising was conferred upon them. Also that saying in the Epistle to the Hebrews (11:40) regarding the ancient just would be hard to explain, 'that they should not be perfected without us,' if they were already established in that incorruption of the resurrection which is promised at the end when we shall be made perfect": so that Augustine would seem to think that they rose to die again. In this sense Jerome also in commenting on Matthew (27:52,53) says: "As Lazarus rose, so also many of the bodies of the saints rose, that they might bear witness to the risen Christ." Nevertheless in a sermon for the Assumption [*Ep. ix ad Paul. et Eustoch.; among the supposititious works ascribed to St. Jerome] he seems to leave the matter doubtful. But Augustine's reasons seem to be much more cogent.
3. As everything preceding Christ's coming was preparatory for Christ, so is grace a disposition for glory. Consequently, it behooved all things appertaining to glory, whether they regard the soul, as the perfect fruition of God, or whether they regard the body, as the glorious resurrection, to be first in Christ as the author of glory: but that grace should be first in those that were ordained unto Christ.
Objection: 1. It seems that Christ was not the cause of His own Resurrection. For whoever is raised up by another is not the cause of his own rising. But Christ was raised up by another, according to Ac 2,24: "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the sorrows of hell": and Rm 8,11: "He that raised up Jesus Christ from the dead, shall quicken also your mortal bodies." Therefore Christ is not the cause of His own Resurrection.
2. Further, no one is said to merit, or ask from another, that of which he is himself the cause. But Christ by His Passion merited the Resurrection, as Augustine says (Tract. civ in Joan.): "The lowliness of the Passion is the meritorious cause of the glory of the Resurrection." Moreover He asked the Father that He might be raised up again, according to Ps 40,11: "But thou, O Lord, have mercy on me, and raise me up again." Therefore He was not the cause of His rising again.
3. Further, as Damascene proves (De Fide Orth. iv), it is not the soul that rises again, but the body, which is stricken by death. But the body could not unite the soul with itself, since the soul is nobler. Therefore what rose in Christ could not be the cause of His Resurrection.
On the contrary Our Lord says (Jn 10,18): "No one taketh My soul from Me, but I lay it down, and I take it up again." But to rise is nothing else than to take the soul up again. Consequently, it appears that Christ rose again of His own power.
I answer that As stated above (Question , Articles ,3) in consequence of death Christ's Godhead was not separated from His soul, nor from His flesh. Consequently, both the soul and the flesh of the dead Christ can be considered in two respects: first, in respect of His Godhead; secondly, in respect of His created nature. Therefore, according to the virtue of the Godhead united to it, the body took back again the soul which it had laid aside, and the soul took back again the body which it had abandoned: and thus Christ rose by His own power. And this is precisely what is written (2Co 13,4): "For although He was crucified through" our "weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God." But if we consider the body and soul of the dead Christ according to the power of created nature, they could not thus be reunited, but it was necessary for Christ to be raised up by God.
Reply to Objection: 1. The Divine power is the same thing as the operation of the Father and the Son; accordingly these two things are mutually consequent, that Christ was raised up by the Divine power of the Father, and by His own power.
2. Christ by praying besought and merited His Resurrection, as man and not as God.
3. According to its created nature Christ's body is not more powerful than His soul; yet according to its Divine power it is more powerful. Again the soul by reason of the Godhead united to it is more powerful than the body in respect of its created nature. Consequently, it was by the Divine power that the body and soul mutually resumed each other, but not by the power of their created nature.
We have now to consider the quality of the rising Christ, which presents four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether Christ had a true body after His Resurrection?
(2) Whether He rose with His complete body?
(3) Whether His was a glorified body?
(4) Of the scars which showed in His body.
Objection: 1. It would seem that Christ did not have a true body after His Resurrection. For a true body cannot be in the same place at the same time with another body. But after the Resurrection Christ's body was with another at the same time in the same place: since He entered among the disciples "the doors being shut," as is related in Jn 20,26. Therefore it seems that Christ did not have a true body after His Resurrection.
2. Further, a true body does not vanish from the beholder's sight unless perchance it be corrupted. But Christ's body "vanished out of the sight" of the disciples as they gazed upon Him, as is related in Lc 24,31. Therefore, it seems that Christ did not have a true body after His Resurrection.
3. Further, every true body has its determinate shape. But Christ's body appeared before the disciples "in another shape," as is evident from Mc 15,12. Therefore it seems that Christ did not possess a true body after His Resurrection.
On the contrary It is written (Lc 24,37) that when Christ appeared to His disciples "they being troubled and frightened, supposed that they saw a spirit," as if He had not a true but an imaginary body: but to remove their fears He presently added: "Handle and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see Me to have." Consequently, He had not an imaginary but a true body.
I answer that As Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iv): that is said to rise, which fell. But Christ's body fell by death; namely, inasmuch as the soul which was its formal perfection was separated from it. Hence, in order for it to be a true resurrection, it was necessary for the same body of Christ to be once more united with the same soul. And since the truth of the body's nature is from its form it follows that Christ's body after His Resurrection was a true body, and of the same nature as it was before. But had His been an imaginary body, then His Resurrection would not have been true, but apparent.
Reply to Objection: 1. Christ's body after His Resurrection, not by miracle but from its glorified condition, as some say, entered in among the disciples while the doors were shut, thus existing with another body in the same place. But whether a glorified body can have this from some hidden property, so as to be with another body at the same time in the same place, will be discussed later (XP, Question , Article ) when the common resurrection will be dealt with. For the present let it suffice to say that it was not from any property within the body, but by virtue of the Godhead united to it, that this body, although a true one, entered in among the disciples while the doors were shut. Accordingly Augustine says in a sermon for Easter (ccxlvii) that some men argue in this fashion: "If it were a body; if what rose from the sepulchre were what hung upon the tree, how could it enter through closed doors?" And he answers: "If you understand how, it is no miracle: where reason fails, faith abounds." And (Tract. cxxi super Joan.) he says: "Closed doors were no obstacle to the substance of a Body wherein was the Godhead; for truly He could enter in by doors not open, in whose Birth His Mother's virginity remained inviolate." And Gregory says the same in a homily for the octave of Easter (xxvi in Evang.).
2. As stated above (Question , Article ), Christ rose to the immortal life of glory. But such is the disposition of a glorified body that it is spiritual, i.e. subject to the spirit, as the Apostle says (1Co 15,44). Now in order for the body to be entirely subject to the spirit, it is necessary for the body's every action to be subject to the will of the spirit. Again, that an object be seen is due to the action of the visible object upon the sight, as the Philosopher shows (De Anima ii). Consequently, whoever has a glorified body has it in his power to be seen when he so wishes, and not to be seen when he does not wish it. Moreover Christ had this not only from the condition of His glorified body, but also from the power of His Godhead, by which power it may happen that even bodies not glorified are miraculously unseen: as was by a miracle bestowed on the blessed Bartholomew, that "if he wished he could be seen, and not be seen if he did not wish it" [*Apocryphal Historia Apost. viii, 2]. Christ, then, is said to have vanished from the eyes of the disciples, not as though He were corrupted or dissolved into invisible elements; but because He ceased, of His own will, to be seen by them, either while He was present or while He was departing by the gift of agility.
3. As Severianus [*Peter Chrysologus: Serm. lxxxii] says in a sermon for Easter: "Let no one suppose that Christ changed His features at the Resurrection." This is to be understood of the outline of His members; since there was nothing out of keeping or deformed in the body of Christ which was conceived of the Holy Ghost, that had to be righted at the Resurrection. Nevertheless He received the glory of clarity in the Resurrection: accordingly the same writer adds: "but the semblance is changed, when, ceasing to be mortal, it becomes immortal; so that it acquired the glory of countenance, without losing the substance of the countenance." Yet He did not come to those disciples in glorified appearance; but, as it lay in His power for His body to be seen or not, so it was within His power to present to the eyes of the beholders His form either glorified or not glorified, or partly glorified and partly not, or in any fashion whatsoever. Still it requires but a slight difference for anyone to seem to appear another shape.
[*Some editions give this article as the third, following the order of the introduction to the question. But this is evident from the first sentence of the body of Article  (Article  in the aforesaid editions), that the order of the Leonine edition is correct.]
Objection: 1. It seems that Christ's body did not rise glorified. For glorified bodies shine, according to Mt 13,43: "Then shall the just shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." But shining bodies are seen under the aspect of light, but not of color. Therefore, since Christ's body was beheld under the aspect of color, as it had been hitherto, it seems that it was not a glorified one.
2. Further, a glorified body is incorruptible. But Christ's body seems not to have been incorruptible; because it was palpable, as He Himself says in Lc 24,39: "Handle, and see." Now Gregory says (Hom. in Evang. xxvi) that "what is handled must be corruptible, and that which is incorruptible cannot be handled." Consequently, Christ's body was not glorified.
3. Further, a glorified body is not animal, but spiritual, as is clear from 1Co 15, But after the Resurrection Christ's body seems to have been animal, since He ate and drank with His disciples, as we read in the closing chapters of Luke and John. Therefore, it seems that Christ's body was not glorified.
On the contrary The Apostle says (Ph 3,21): "He will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of His glory."
I answer that Christ's was a glorified body in His Resurrection, and this is evident from three reasons. First of all, because His Resurrection was the exemplar and the cause of ours, as is stated in 1Co 15,43. But in the resurrection the saints will have glorified bodies, as is written in the same place: "It is sown in dishonor, it shall rise in glory." Hence, since the cause is mightier than the effect, and the exemplar than the exemplate; much more glorious, then, was the body of Christ in His Resurrection. Secondly, because He merited the glory of His Resurrection by the lowliness of His Passion. Hence He said (Jn 12,27): "Now is My soul troubled," which refers to the Passion; and later He adds: "Father, glorify Thy name," whereby He asks for the glory of the Resurrection. Thirdly, because as stated above (Question , Article ), Christ's soul was glorified from the instant of His conception by perfect fruition of the Godhead. But, as stated above (Question , Article , ad 2), it was owing to the Divine economy that the glory did not pass from His soul to His body, in order that by the Passion He might accomplish the mystery of our redemption. Consequently, when this mystery of Christ's Passion and death was finished, straightway the soul communicated its glory to the risen body in the Resurrection; and so that body was made glorious.
Reply to Objection: 1. Whatever is received within a subject is received according to the subject's capacity. Therefore, since glory flows from the soul into the body, it follows that, as Augustine says (Ep ad Dioscor. cxviii), the brightness or splendor of a glorified body is after the manner of natural color in the human body; just as variously colored glass derives its splendor from the sun's radiance, according to the mode of the color. But as it lies within the power of a glorified man whether his body be seen or not, as stated above (Article , ad 2), so is it in his power whether its splendor be seen or not. Accordingly it can be seen in its color without its brightness. And it was in this way that Christ's body appeared to the disciples after the Resurrection.
2. We say that a body can be handled not only because of its resistance, but also on account of its density. But from rarity and density follow weight and lightness, heat and cold, and similar contraries, which are the principles of corruption in elementary bodies. Consequently, a body that can be handled by human touch is naturally corruptible. But if there be a body that resists touch, and yet is not disposed according to the qualities mentioned, which are the proper objects of human touch, such as a heavenly body, then such body cannot be said to be handled. But Christ's body after the Resurrection was truly made up of elements, and had tangible qualities such as the nature of a human body requires, and therefore it could naturally be handled; and if it had nothing beyond the nature of a human body, it would likewise be corruptible. But it had something else which made it incorruptible, and this was not the nature of a heavenly body, as some maintain, and into which we shall make fuller inquiry later (XP, Question , Article ), but it was glory flowing from a beatified soul: because, as Augustine says (Ep ad Dioscor. cxviii): "God made the soul of such powerful nature, that from its fullest beatitude the fulness of health overflows into the body, that is, the vigor of incorruption." And therefore Gregory says (Hom. in Evang. xxvi): "Christ's body is shown to be of the same nature, but of different glory, after the Resurrection."
3. As Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiii): "After the Resurrection, our Saviour in spiritual but true flesh partook of meat with the disciples, not from need of food, but because it lay in His power." For as Bede says on Lc 24,41: "The thirsty earth sucks in the water, and the sun's burning ray absorbs it; the former from need, the latter by its power." Hence after the Resurrection He ate, "not as needing food, but in order thus to show the nature of His risen body." Nor does it follow that His was an animal body that stands in need of food.
Objection: 1. It would seem that Christ's body did not rise entire. For flesh and blood belong to the integrity of the body: whereas Christ seems not to have had both, for it is written (1Co 15,50): "Flesh and blood can not possess the kingdom of God." But Christ rose in the glory of the kingdom of God. Therefore it seems that He did not have flesh and blood.
2. Further, blood is one of the four humors. Consequently, if Christ had blood, with equal reason He also had the other humors, from which corruption is caused in animal bodies. It would follow, then, that Christ's body was corruptible, which is unseemly. Therefore Christ did not have flesh and blood.
3. Further, the body of Christ which rose, ascended to heaven. But some of His blood is kept as relics in various churches. Therefore Christ's body did not rise with the integrity of all its parts.
On the contrary our Lord said (Lc 24,39) while addressing His disciples after the Resurrection: "A spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see Me to have."
I answer that As stated above (Article ), Christ's body in the Resurrection was "of the same nature, but differed in glory." Accordingly, whatever goes with the nature of a human body, was entirely in the body of Christ when He rose again. Now it is clear that flesh, bones, blood, and other such things, are of the very nature of the human body. Consequently, all these things were in Christ's body when He rose again; and this also integrally, without any diminution; otherwise it would not have been a complete resurrection, if whatever was lost by death had not been restored. Hence our Lord assured His faithful ones by saying (Mt 10,30): "The very hairs of your head are all numbered": and (Lc 21,18): "A hair of your head shall not perish."But to say that Christ's body had neither flesh, nor bones, nor the other natural parts of a human body, belongs to the error of Eutyches, Bishop of Constantinople, who maintained that "our body in that glory of the resurrection will be impalpable, and more subtle than wind and air: and that our Lord, after the hearts of the disciples who handled Him were confirmed, brought back to subtlety whatever could be handled in Him" [*St. Gregory, Moral. in Jb 14,56]. Now Gregory condemns this in the same book, because Christ's body was not changed after the Resurrection, according to Rm 6,9: "Christ rising from the dead, dieth now no more." Accordingly, the very man who had said these things, himself retracted them at his death. For, if it be unbecoming for Christ to take a body of another nature in His conception, a heavenly one for instance, as Valentine asserted, it is much more unbecoming for Him at His Resurrection to resume a body of another nature, because in His Resurrection He resumed unto an everlasting life, the body which in His conception He had assumed to a mortal life.
Reply to Objection: 1. Flesh and blood are not to be taken there for the nature of flesh and blood, but, either for the guilt of flesh and blood, as Gregory says [*St. Gregory, Moral. in Jb 14,56], or else for the corruption of flesh and blood: because, as Augustine says (Ad Consent., De Resur. Carn.), "there will be neither corruption there, nor mortality of flesh and blood." Therefore flesh according to its substance possesses the kingdom of God, according to Lc 24,39: "A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see Me to have." But flesh, if understood as to its corruption, will not possess it; hence it is straightway added in the words of the Apostle: "Neither shall corruption possess incorruption."
2. As Augustine says in the same book: "Perchance by reason of the blood some keener critic will press us and say; If the blood was" in the body of Christ when He rose, "why not the rheum?" that is, the phlegm; "why not also the yellow gall?" that is, the gall proper; "and why not the black gall?" that is, the bile, "with which four humors the body is tempered, as medical science bears witness. But whatever anyone may add, let him take heed not to add corruption, lest he corrupt the health and purity of his own faith; because Divine power is equal to taking away such qualities as it wills from the visible and tractable body, while allowing others to remain, so that there be no defilement," i.e. of corruption, "though the features be there; motion without weariness, the power to eat, without need of food."
3. All the blood which flowed from Christ's body, belonging as it does to the integrity of human nature, rose again with His body: and the same reason holds good for all the particles which belong to the truth and integrity of human nature. But the blood preserved as relics in some churches did not flow from Christ's side, but is said to have flowed from some maltreated image of Christ.
Summa Th. III EN Qu.53