The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans
Chapter III.-Christ Was Possessed of a Body After His Resurrection.
For I know that after His resurrection also He was still possessed
of flesh, and I believe that He is so now. When, for instance, He came
to those who were with Peter, He said to them, "Lay hold, handle Me, and
see that I am not an incorporeal spirit." And immediately they touched
Him, and believed, being convinced both by His flesh and spirit. For this
cause also they despised death, and were found its conquerors. And
after his resurrection He did eat and drink with them, as being possessed
of flesh, although spiritually He was united to the Father.
And I know that He was possessed of a body not only in His being born
and crucified, but I also know that He was so after His resurrection, and
believe that He is so now. When, for instance, He came to those who were
with Peter, He said to them, "Lay hold, handle Me, and see that I am not
an incorporeal spirit." "For a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as
ye see Me have." And He says to Thomas, "Reach hither thy finger
into the print of the nails, and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into
My side; " and immediately they believed that He was Christ. Wherefore
Thomas also says to Him, "My Lord, and my God." And on this account also
did they despise death, for it were too little to say, indignities and
stripes. Nor was this all; but also after He had shown Himself to them,
that He had risen indeed, and not in appearance only, He both ate and drank
with them during forty entire days. And thus was He, with the flesh, received
up in their sight unto Him that sent Him, being with that same flesh to
come again, accompanied by glory and power. For, say the [holy] oracles,
"This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come,
in like manner as ye have seen Him go unto heaven." But if they say that
He will come at the end of the world without a body, how shall those "see
Him that pierced Him," and when they recognise Him, "mourn for themselves?
" For incorporeal beings have neither form nor figure, nor the aspect
of an animal possessed of shape, because their nature is in itself simple.