Last night, my son asked me yet another difficult question, "Why did they crucify Jesus, Mom?" Recently, my son's curiosity about the world has left me grappling for the right answers appropriate for his age. As a Waldorf parent, I understand that children need proper filters for them to appreciate the answers right for their consciousness. So, I asked help from the Waldorf community on how to answer appropriately and here's a very enlightening approach from Susan Quimpo, an Art Therapist and former Waldorf parent :
When my youngest was about 7 or 8, she asked me what Communism was! My answer was: Give me time to think about this. I decided I shouldn't "intellectualize" the topic but at the same time I wanted to give her an honest answer and acknowledge (and encourage!) a budding interest in history. So the best way I could think of (also the Waldorf way) was to treat it like a story, though very simplified of course. I told her a very simplified story of the struggle over land, the Hukbalahap and post World War II Philippines as a backdrop for the rise of communism. It became an animated discussion specially when I was able to include little stories about her grandparents and the War, what Manila looked like, etc. It became less of a discussion on Communism, but the story of three generations of Filipinos from 1935 to martial law.
So for Jesus' crucifixion -- I would choose the story of the Roman Empire, how the king (Caesar) became so greedy for power that he wanted more and more kingdoms to lord over. Link Caesar's greed to the story of the Epiphany, the Three Wise men who decided not to tell Herod (an ally of Caesar) where the Baby Jesus was because the Roman soldiers were killing all infants then because of the prophecy that a baby then born would one day be King, thus threatening Caesar's reign. So when Jesus grew up and became a leader and a healer -- Ceasar and Herod were once again threatened. Thus, Jesus was put to death in a manner used by the soldiers to scare other people who were a threat to Caesar.
Let's leave the spiritual side of the story for later. At this point your son would understand a story that had to do with kings, soldiers, greed and selfishness. Highlight the story of the innocent baby being recognized by the Wise Men and Angels as a King, not just of men but of a singing host of Angels as well. Juxtaposed with an insecure Caesar with all his wealth and soldiers afraid of a baby. In short, less of the gore of the crucifixion and more the magical story of Wise Men from the East following a star.
I shall prepare a story for Santi tonight!