Regarding whether Christ's entire body—with its flesh, blood, etc.—rose in His resurrection, St. Thomas Aquinas writes (Summa Theologica III q. 54 a. 3):
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 (1 Cor.
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.
Objection 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.
Objection 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
On the contrary, our Lord said (Lk. 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 (Lk. 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 Job 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
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 Job 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 Lk. 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."
Reply to Objection 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."
Reply to Objection 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