Our archbishops in ACANZP have put out an interesting Easter 2010 message. You can read it all here on the Taonga site.
Included in it are these sentences:
"The only people to whom the Risen Christ appeared were people who loved him – or, as Luke says, the witnesses that God had already chosen.
The Resurrection, therefore, is made physical, visible and possible for those who experienced it through the love that was in them."
I am not quite sure what 'experience [the Resurrection] through the love that was in them' means. Any thoughts? 'love' could mean God's love poured out in them; or it could mean the love they had for Jesus (as per the first sentence cited above).
But the first sentence is an intriguing claim. I think it is true inasmuch as the first clause captures the likes of (say) Peter, John, Mary Magdalene, and Thomas, and the second clause captures the likes of Saul/Paul. It is intriguing because it gets me thinking, Why only those who loved him or would be drawn to love him? Why not appearances to (say) Pontius Pilate or Caiaphas?
Yet two other observations are worth bringing to this discussion.
First, that even those who loved Jesus were unable to recognise the risen Jesus. Mary in the garden (John 20:1-18) springs to mind, but so in John 21 do the ones fishing on the Sea of Tiberias. Initially there is uncertainty in their minds as to who is cooking breakfast on the beach. Does this imply anything about the waste-of-time aspect of appearances to those who neither loved Jesus nor would become his witnesses?
Secondly, though not all Christians agree, the witness of the empty tomb is also important evidence for the resurrection. As far as I can tell the empty tomb was observable to those who did not love Jesus, and, there is a remarkable silence in terms of objections to claims that Jesus had risen: no one said 'But, but, but, the body is still there in the tomb!!!'
After posting the above I have come across a superb post by Clayboy (Doug Chaplin) affirming the theological importance of the empty tomb. I encourage you to read it!