It’s so interesting to me that the issue was never whether or not Jesus died. They all knew he died. The Pharisees knew it because they stayed at the cross until the end just to make sure. The Disciples knew it because John and Jesus’ mother Mary were there at the cross until he died. The Romans knew it because they had troops there.
They all knew he was dead. That was never in question.
That’s why Matthew 28 records the lame attempt at a fabricated story: that the disciples had stolen his body from the tomb. Of course, this doesn’t make sense either. A Roman guard had been placed at the tomb with explicit instructions to keep people away. The rumors of Jesus predicting his resurrection had even reached the Pharisees and Roman officials.
The penalty for a Roman soldier who failed at his duty was death. They weren’t about to let a ragtag group of Jesus’ disciples steal him away at night from right under their noses. They valued their lives a little too much for that.
The truth was too fantastic to imagine – that Jesus had conquered death. That even in the face of humanity’s greatest enemy, Jesus was invincible.
The resurrection is about power. Power over circumstance. Power over doubt. Power over defeat. Power over life and power over death.
“Like every historical fact, the resurrection of Jesus can be doubted.” But sooner or later you have to come to terms with the power.