Take, for example, Ignatius of Antioch (d. 108). This early church leader was an overseer of the church at Antioch at beginning of the second century. Though he was primarily a pastor to pastors, he also combated Docetism (a heresy that claimed Jesus’ physical body was an illusion, therefore also implying that Jesus did not physically die on the cross). In fact, Docetism gets its name from the Greek verb, dokeō, which means “to seem or appear to be.” The ranging implications of this heresy in the early church, especially in view of Christ’s humanity and his death on the cross, would have been ruinous for Christianity.
Let me illustrate this: to suggest that Jesus did not actually suffer on the cross as the God-man who died as our substitute for the forgiveness of sins, the gospel news would be lost. There would be no pure ground for the atonement if Jesus only ‘appeared’ to die for our sins in our place, and it would neglect the supernatural incarnation of the glorified God-man. That is why the early church fathers were careful to contest heresies like Docetism, and they were right to do so.
It is very important. Happy Saturday guys and gals!