Explain It To Me…

You see in the Gospels, Acts & the Epistles that they (are) called to place their faith in Christ” (Shane)

This is a very dicey one that I am looking at with more fervor these days…was Jesus asking them to ‘follow him’ (as a rabbi) – and that he pushed their focus onto the One God – and his teachings were part of that vehicle (even as a messiah)? Cause it is rather odd that Jesus never calls himself equal to God in any of the gospels until John. Fact is, none of these gospels were actually together as we have them today and were likely used singularily in the community lucky enough to scribally copy them. So if someone only has Matthew (for example) – would they still get Jesus as son of God (only begotten from God) or as a messianic rabbinic figure? And if they followed that – wouldn’t they be quite alright?

Someone explain me to me how this whole salvation/sacrifice/atonement thing works and why it works? Why do we need the sacrifice? What does the sacrifice do? What does it all mean for us? Why do we have to accept the sacrifice if we play no part in it?