St. Paul plainly tells us that the things here done foreshadowed better things to come. (Hebrews 10:1) God required in the law that the Jews should keep this day of atonement and offer these sacrifices through the high priest once each year. We remember that God had promised to Abraham: “In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed”. So St. Paul says that the law “was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator”; and that the law was a schoolmaster to bring the people unto Christ. (Galatians 3:19,24) In other words, Jehovah was teaching the children of Israel concerning the great sin-offering that must be made on behalf of mankind and he was using them to make living pictures; and the record of the events concerning them has enabled all students of the Bible since to see how Jehovah foreshadowed the redemption and deliverance of mankind from the bondage of sin and death. To foreshadow means to foretell something coming; and this shows how important the great ransom is to mankind, that God would take so much time and go into so much detail to teach the people by these pictures. Hence this should encourage us to study the subject earnestly that we might see, understand, and appreciate it.
Adam was sentenced to death, and when he actually went into death after 930 years, justice was satisfied. The law demanded the life of a perfect human being. It had received it when Adam died. Between the time of Adam’s sentence and the time of his death he begat many children that were born into the earth. These being born imperfect had no right to life; hence the living of the children was only by permission of Jehovah, and every one who died, died because of imperfection resulting from the sin of father Adam.
The Scriptures clearly show that God planned long in advance for the redemption and deliverance of the human race. Hence his wisdom led him to embrace in the effects of this death sentence all of the human family, all of the offspring of Adam, so that in due time he might redeem them all through the sacrifice of one. (Galatians 3:22) The sentence against Adam and the resulting effects upon all of his offspring must stand. An earthly court may reverse its judgment because imperfect, but God cannot reverse his, because it is perfect; and he cannot deny himself. He could make provision, however, for another man exactly equivalent to Adam to go into death voluntarily; and by thus dying his life could be given as a corresponding price for Adam and his offspring, that Adam and his offspring might be released from death and given a trial for life. The Scriptures definitely show that it was God’s purpose and intention from the beginning to make just such a provision. He made a specific promise to this effect when he said: “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction”. (Hosea 13:14) This promise of Jehovah to ransom the human race must be carried out, because God is unchangeable. Having made the promise, he will perform it.—Malachi 3:6; James 1:17.