Because of this death sentence standing against Adam, he was and is held in restraint or imprisonment of death. He and his offspring who have died are in the great prison-house of death, and the grave is thus spoken of by the Prophet—Isaiah 42:6,7; 49:9
The dead could never again live, nor could those who are living ever hope to have eternal happiness unless the disability resting upon mankind because of sin be first removed; and the Scripture is quite clear, as above noticed, that this can be removed only by means of the great ransom sacrifice. Since ransom means an exact corresponding price, the ransomer must be exactly like the perfect Adam in Eden.
A perfect man had sinned and lost everything; therefore none but a perfect man could provide a price sufficient to buy and release Adam and his race from this sentence of death and its effects. Divine justice demanded the life of a perfect human being and this was received when Adam went into death. It followed that divine justice would accept nothing more or less, as a price for releasing Adam and his offspring, than a perfect human life. In order to meet these divine requirements, the ransomer must be a perfect human being.
When God gave the law to Israel at Mount Sinai he indicated by the promise of that law that the only means by which the human race could be redeemed or ransomed would be by the giving of a perfect human life in the place of Adam’s perfect human life, which he had forfeited by his disobedience. We remember that St. Paul said that this law was a shadow of better things to come. That law required an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a foot for a foot, a life for a life; that is to say, a price exactly corresponding to that which had been lost. As an illustration: Under the law if one man knocked out another’s tooth, he must lose one of his own teeth. If he struck out a man’s eye, he must give up his own eye. If he took the life of his fellow creature, he must give up his own life. Thus the law pictured that the great ransomer would correspond exactly with the perfect man Adam when Adam was in Eden.—Exodus 21:23-25; Leviticus 24:17-21; Deuteronomy 19:21.