That’s what atheists say about the New Testament and particularly about Jesus’ followers - they lied about seeing the resurrected Jesus. Sure they did. And then they endured years of hardship and beatings and torture and ultimately death, all for a lie that they invented. Listen to someone who actually knows about being caught in a conspiracy.
“Watergate involved a conspiracy to cover up, perpetuated by the closest aides to the President of the United States - the most powerful men in America, who were intensely loyal to their president. But one of them, John Dean, turned state’s evidence, that is, testified against Nixon, as he put it, “to save his own skin” - and he did so only TWO WEEKS after informing the president about what was really going on - TWO WEEKS! The real cover-up, the lie, could only be held together for two weeks, and then everybody else jumped ship in order to save themselves. Now, the fact is that all that those around the president were facing was embarrassment, maybe prison. Nobody’s life was at stake. But what about the disciples? Twelve powerless men, peasants really, were facing not just embarrassment or political disgrace, but beatings, stoning, execution. Every single one of the disciples insisted, to their dying breaths, that they had physically seen Jesus bodily raised from the dead. Don’t you think that one of those apostles would have cracked before being beheaded or stoned? That one of them would have made a deal with the authorities? None did.” Chuck Colson.