"'See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised’" (Matthew 20:18-19).
The age-old question ... did Jesus actually rise from the dead as he predicted? If not, what does the story of the resurrection mean and why was the story made up?
The thing about age-old questions is that there are almost never definitive answers. In this case, it's really a matter of faith. Many believe in a literal Resurrection. Others do not. It's possible, I think, to see both sides of the question and, as a matter of Unity, see spiritual truth in both.
The Gospel of Matthew was written a generation after the events it describes, and that much time certainly allows for stories and legends to arise. On the other hand, the Resurrection is described in all four gospels, and referenced in subsequent books of the New Testament. It seems clear that something happened.
At the very least, the disciples discovered that what they felt to be a definitive death did not end the ministry of Jesus, but rather lifted to a new level of spiritual expression. I feel that asking if Jesus rose from the dead is missing the point. What he did was establish that death has no reality in Truth. He moved through the illusion, briefly maintained his physical form for the instruction of his followers, and then moved onward, leaving behind his teachings and demonstrations of the Christ and encouraging us to follow his example.
But that's me. The "answer" to the age-old question invites you to meditate on what exactly is "true" for you.
Blessings of the season,