i) Critics often say the Resurrection accounts are contradictory. Even if that were true, it wouldn't mean the Resurrection is in doubt. You can have discrepant accounts of a plane crash, but that doesn't mean there was no plane crash. The fact that eyewitnesses may get details wrong doesn't mean they mistook the underlying event.
ii) There is, however, a basic confusion about the oft-repeated claim that the Resurrection accounts are irreconcilable. It's possible for the Resurrection accounts to be irreconcilable, yet each account is completely accurate. It doesn't take much imagination to see how that's possible, but critics lack imagination.
iii) Let's begin by considering how to represent the same scene in time and space. Suppose I photograph a landscape. Say I photographic the same scene from two different angles. I now have two different pictures of the same scene.
Suppose I turn these two pictures into two different puzzles. Two boxes of puzzle pieces depicting that scene.
Even though these are both depictions of the same scene, no piece from one puzzle will fit into any piece from the other puzzle. The pieces from these two puzzles are irreconcilable.
I can't map one puzzle onto the other puzzle, yet both puzzles map onto the same underlying scene. Two completely accurate, but irreconcilable depictions.
iv) Or, instead of shots from different angles, I could take two shots at different times. I might photograph the same scene morning and afternoon, Or spring, summer, fall, and winter.
I'd shoot the same scene at the same angle, but each picture would look different due to different lighting conditions, weather, deciduous trees in bud, or turning brown, &c.
Once again, I could turn these pictures into puzzles. But I couldn't piece the scene together using pieces from different puzzle boxes. Yet each separate depiction is a completely accurate representation of the same scene.
v) In addition, when we assemble a puzzle, we have the benefit of the complete picture on the cover to use as a guide. That gives us the part/whole relation.
But in the case of the Resurrection accounts, we don't have direct access to the original scene. All we have to go by are edited accounts. We're comparing each account with another account, rather than comparing each account to the original. It's like piecing a puzzle together after the picture on the box top was lost. All you have are pieces. You don't have an image that shows the original composition.
vi) In addition, the Resurrection accounts are very selective. So that's like attempting to assemble a puzzle with missing pieces.
But even if you can't reconstruct the original scene, that creates no presumption against the accuracy of the accounts. Just as your inability to assemble a puzzle using pieces from different puzzles (of the same scene, from different angles or seasons) doesn't mean the representation is inaccurate. Just as your inability to assemble a puzzle with missing pieces or a missing box top picture doesn't mean the representation is inaccurate.
vii) Incidentally, the same group of people could go to a park or cemetery at the same time, but miss connections because various objects obstruct their view of each other. Even if they were all there at the same time, they may not see each other, depending where they stand in relation to trees, buildings, hillocks, &c.
viii) Dropping the metaphor, let's take a comparison. We have parallel accounts of Jesus cursing the fig tree in Matthew and Mark. These are clearly about the same event. It's likely that Mark preserves the original order. In Mark, Jesus curses the fig tree as he enters Jerusalem, then cleanses the temple, then exits Jerusalem by the same route. Next day, the disciples see the withered tree. In-between coming and going, there's the cleansing of the temple.
By contrast, Matthew exhibits narrative compression. Matthew places the cleaning of the temple before the cursing of the fig tree. That reduces a three-stage action, spread over two days, to a two stage action.
That's a useful example of how a Gospel writer (Matthew) edits a source. And if Matthew was all we had to go by, we'd be unable to reconstruct the original sequence, both because we're missing key information, and because historical events, due to their contingency, often have no necessary sequence. We don't not know in advance when somebody will do something in relation to something else. He might curse the fig tree first, then cleanse the temple–or cleanse the temple first, then curse the fig tree. The order of events is up to the discretion of the agent, which makes it unpredictable. What was sooner? What was later?
Unless we were there and saw what happened, it's often impossible to say who did what when. For there's more than one way it might have happened. Given different possibilities, we can't expect to nail down the chronology in many cases.
Consider all the things you do in the course of a day. In some instances, you have to do one thing before you can do something else. But in many instances, there's no fixed order in which you must do them. And those may be snap decisions you make on the spot.