This was written by our author in confutation of certain heretics who denied the reality of Christ’s flesh, or at least its identity with human flesh—fearing that, if they admitted the reality of Christ’s flesh, they must also admit his resurrection in the flesh; and, consequently, the resurrection of the human body after death.
They who are so anxious to shake that belief in the resurrection which was firmly settled before the appearance of our modern Sadducees, as even to deny that the expectation thereof has any relation whatever to the flesh, have great cause for besetting the flesh of Christ also with doubtful questions, as if it either had no existence at all, or possessed a nature altogether different from human flesh. For they cannot but be apprehensive that, if it be once determined that Christ’s flesh was human, a presumption would immediately arise in opposition to them, that that flesh must by all means rise again, which has already risen in Christ. Therefore, we shall have to guard our belief in the resurrection from the same armory, whence they get their weapons of destruction. Let us examine our Lord’s bodily substance, for about His spiritual nature all are agreed. It is His flesh that is in question. Its verity and quality are the points in dispute. Did it ever exist? whence was it derived? And of what kind was it? If we succeed in demonstrating it, we shall lay down a law for our own resurrection.