You confound two distinct issues. The question of the historicity of Jesus is the first. Was there an actual Jewish dude name Joshua, who was the son of a carpenter, Joseph and his wife Mary. Was he an itinerant Rebbe who met an ugly end for preaching the material that the New T. quotes him as preaching, though some material may have been gotten distorted for political or doctrinal purposes to some extent at later points.
The other question is whether this guy was the Christ, with supernatural connections, the literal and somehow biological son of God with the whole apparatus that comes with that question. I was afraid you had been making this mistake, and you confirmed it when you said
I’m not the one selling the idea of a living breathing Christ Stephen, you are, which means you’re the one who needs to do the convincing, otherwise I ain’t buying it.
For Stephanos to promote an actual historical figure to the position of Christ requires an existential act of faith which he earnestly attempts to support with philosophical argument. He believes it, and many others do as well and their reasons are sufficient to them.
You do not, and there is no reason that you should if the existential leap into belief makes not sense to you. On the face of it, that issue is an issue of faith not fact and you have no wish to follow them to a conclusion you feel unwarranted.
The issue of the Historicity of Jesus is, I think, a different one. There are loads of messiahs in the Jewish tradition, many of them following a course of martyrdom. The course of the life of Jesus is not particularly different; it's the life of a messiah in the history of a particularly insistent group of religiously forged folks. They'd been fighting about religion with people for a long time, and people with new takes on the religion had pushed the religion one way and another for quite a long time. It was one of the ways these folks changed politically and religiously, and it was an important thing for a young and idealistic Jew to do to affect the situation of his people.
To bring another and more modern situation into the discussion, yet one not particularly distant in terms of folkways for that part of the world, the locals—or many of them—thought he was a Freedom Fighter. "Messiah" at that time certainly had that particular meaning tied to it, though Jesus was somewhat coy about it. This was one of the reasons that The Kingdom of God could be thought of as coming soon to a theater near you, because it had this sub-text of armed rebellion. The thought has been altered by politics, doctrine and history over the past 2000 years. For many Christians it is still of vital but transformed meaning, and good for them.
The Romans didn't think of the man as a Freedom Fighter but as a Terrorist. They treated him that way. One man's Terrorist can all too easily become another man's freedom fighter and, on rare occasions, messiah.
Odd are though, he was actually there for events to crystalize around. Or somebody else with the same name and background coming from the same place who met the same end, if it makes you happier.
Whether he was The Christ or not—that's a different discussion.