The story of Easter is one of persecution and rebirth, making it the central experience of the Christian belief system. On the Friday before Easter, Christians believe that Jesus was executed by crucifixion. His body is believed to have been removed from the cross and buried in a guarded cave, with a large boulder blocking the entrance.
Tradition continues that the following Sunday, Jesus' gravesite was visited by faithful women-Jesus' mother the Virgin Mary may have been among them-who discovered that the cave was empty. Later that day and for several days after, Jesus' followers sighted him and came to believe that Jesus had been risen from the dead by God.