JDGaney, now we have a partial idea of Whom the Messiah will be (concerning the “anointing” aspect at least), that is, Priest, Prophet, and King all wrapped up into one, we need to know more info concerning who He is.
It is reasonable to consider the attributes of God. The Catholic Encyclopedia has more on this subject.
God is all good, all holy, all knowing, etc. God is perfectly just. God is also perfectly merciful.
We are sinners. All people are sinners (Jewish persons and Non-Jewish persons—that’s St. Paul’s point in Romans 3:23 when he said “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”).
Catholic Answers has a wonderful tract concerning some of this titled: “God’s Love For You”. It can be seen here. catholic.com/documents/gods-love-for-you
Let’s look at an excerpt from this tract:
Something is wrong with the human race. We all sense it. Things aren't the way they should be. Not in the world. Not in our neighbors. Not in ourselves.
We aren't as kind, as generous, or as loving as we should be. We do things we shouldn't. We are selfish, arrogant, sometimes even cruel. We use other people for our own ends. We fall short even of our own low standards.
The Bible has a word for this: sin. . . .
. . . We sense that things shouldn't be this way, that there must have been a time when things were right in the world. And there was such a time.
When God first made man, he made him perfect, able to live and love as he should, free from sin and sin's worst consequence, which is death. But our first parents turned away from God, and the human race hasn't been right since.
If you sin against a person you don’t sin against his pinky or toe. You sin against all of that person.
Likewise if you sin against the infinite God . . . it is a sin that doesn’t merely transgress “part” of God, but it is a sin against God Himself (who is INFINITE).
St. Thomas Aquinas puts it much more eloquently when he states . . .
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS Reply to Objection 2. Satisfaction may be said to be sufficient in two ways--first, perfectly, inasmuch as it is condign, being adequate to make good the fault committed, and in this way the satisfaction of a mere man cannot be sufficient for sin, both because the whole of human nature has been corrupted by sin, whereas the goodness of any person or persons could not be made up adequately for the harm done to the whole of the nature; and also because a sin committed against God has a kind of infinity from the infinity of the Divine majesty, because the greater the person we offend, the more grievous the offense. Hence for condign satisfaction it was necessary that the act of the one satisfying should have an infinite efficiency, as being of God and man. Secondly, man's satisfaction may be termed sufficient, imperfectly--i.e. in the acceptation of him who is content with it, even though it is not condign, and in this way the satisfaction of a mere man is sufficient. And forasmuch as every imperfect presupposes some perfect thing, by which it is sustained, hence it is that satisfaction of every mere man has its efficiency from the satisfaction of Christ.
God is perfectly just! His justice is perfect.
Q: So HOW can a mere finite man ever “get right” with God if God’s justice is perfect? Are we all doomed to "fry" in eternal condemnation?
We will give God a sacrifice to “pay” this account right?
A: Wrong. Our mere sacrifices could NOT PAY a full account for one transgression against an all-holy God.
Q: Well can’t we just offer prayer from our lips or the blood of bulls and goats, and cereal offerings, and wine or drink offerings?
A: We need to pray. And in our Old Covenant, we did offer animal and cereal/drink offerings. But these offerings were never meant to “take away” the sins of the world in a permanent sense.
Q: Well WHY would God have us offer sacrifice then in atonement for sin in the Old Covenant?
A: As a kippur (covering, atonement), as an act of obedience, and as a shadow of “better things to come” (c.f. Hebrews 10:1), viz. the Messiah. This Old Covenant sacrifice foreshadows something greater than bulls and goats that would come and not merely take away sin, but put God’s own spirit within us in a new way. A Covenant not like God made with Moses and Abraham, but a New Covenant that really and actually gives us the Spirit of God. It helps us to circumcise our hearts in a way we could never have done on our own or with the mere sacrifice of bulls, goats, our lips, etc.
Q: Well if this New Covenant sacrifice were to pay an account for sin against God, this sacrifice would have to be an INFINITE sacrifice to pay the account for God’s perfect justice! Right?
A: That’s right.
Q: But what about God’s mercy? Isn’t THAT perfect too?
A: Yes it is perfect mercy (God’s greatest attribute is His Divine Mercy but beyond the scope of this thread to go deeper here).
A perfectly merciful God cannot transgress His own perfect justice so our only hope is not God merely looking the other way from our sin (He cannot do such—if He could He would not be perfectly just) but paying the actual account required Himself.
So we need a sacrifice that satisfies God’s perfect mercy AND at the same time satisfies His perfect justice. The Lord, Who loves righteousness AND justice is blessed forever. We are ALL sinners and sojourners in a foreign land (the earth). Earth is not our ultimate home.