For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
2 Peter 1:16
Jesus was a prominent figure in Israel, and many people knew His burial site. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John record the exact location. Both Roman and Jewish sources testify that the tomb was found empty on the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion. Matthew 28:12-13 specifically states that the chief priests invented the story that the disciples stole the body. There would be no need for this fabrication if the tomb had not been empty. And the preaching of the apostles would not have lasted if the tomb had not been empty, because the Jewish authorities could have easily put an end to Christianity by producing Jesus’ body.
Also, the Gospels record that while Jesus was on trial, the disciples deserted Him in fear.
Just a few days later, however, they suddenly returned to Jerusalem—the city where the event happened and could be investigated—and began preaching that Jesus was the Messiah and had risen from the dead. The disciples knew this message would bring them a life of suffering and even death. Ten out of 11 remaining apostles after Judas’ death were martyred because they believed Jesus rose from the dead. Why would they do this if they knew that Jesus had not risen from the dead? And why would thousands of people in Jerusalem abandon the tenets and practices of their faith and join the disciples in following Jesus?