One explanation of Easter that will not do is the au courant academic fantasy that the disciples of Jesus worked themselves into such a frenzy of grief over the death of Jesus that they succumbed to mass hysteria and said, “You know, when we get together it’s almost like Jesus is still with us.” This is the old he’ll-live-on-in-our-memories rationalization of Easter.
Sorry, such an explanation explains nothing. For one thing, we have noted that the main reaction of the disciples to “Jesus is raised” was fear. They didn’t expect Jesus to be raised from the dead; in a sense they didn’t really want him raised from the dead. For another thing, has anything you have learned thus far about Peter suggested to you that he had a fertile imagination or a creative mind?
–Will Willimon, Methodist Bishop of the Birmingham, AL Area, Why Jesus?, 132