Writing after Christ’s accomplishment, John the Evangelist said: “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
During the Lenten season we prepare for and anticipate celebrating a historical event. In a word, the Atonement; when Christ destroyed the works of the devil. Which is why Christians sing: “Death, where is your sting?”
From Richard A Muller’s Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms:
“protoevangelium: literally, the protogospel; the first announcement of the redemption to be effected in and through Christ, given figuratively to Adam and Eve in the words of God to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15); in Reformed federalism, the inception of the covenant of grace.”
“The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master” (Luke 6:40).
It is Ash Wednesday. It is the genesis of the Lenten season. In preparation for Easter the Church has historically found this to be an opportune time for confession of sin and imitation of Christ. Such practices are good and lawful; Spirit-led, that.
It is, therefore, a time for disciples, the pupils, the followers and adherents to the way of Christ, to confess sins and become as their master.
“The function of doctrine is to make Christian prayer as difficult as it ought to be” (William H. Willimon & Stanley Hauerwas, Lord, Teach Us: The Lord’s Prayer & the Christian Life, p. 22).