One of the first Jewish messiahs, and the model for those to come, was King David, who arose from humble beginnings, was victorious on the battlefield against great odds, and established the first and greatest Jewish Empire. In the time of the Roman occupation of Judea, some Jewish groups believed that God would send them another militant messiah to destroy the Romans and establish the “Kingdom of God”—not an ethereal kingdom, but the very terrestrial Holy Jewish Empire. This, and nothing besides, is what was meant by messiah and what the Jews had prophecies concerning. At the time surrounding Jesus’s life there were many Jewish warriors who claimed to be the messiah. All of the prophecies concerning messiahs corresponded with actual wars of liberation and real life military messiahs. All the alleged messiahs failed, however. None of them overthrew the Romans or established the Holy Jewish Empire. Jesus was most likely another failed military messiah (he definitely wasn't a successful messiah, but other options include a non-messianic prophet or an entirely fictitious character) who was executed for inciting a riot (attacking the moneychangers in the temple during Passover--a terrorist action which if gone unchecked by the Roman authorities could have lead to an uprising that would have gotten many innocent people killed) and put to death. His followers continued in his tradition, lead by his brother James, until they were destroyed along with other rebel groups and the Jewish Temple in 70 CE as the Romans crushed the Jewish rebellion.
Although the concept of a God-Man that dies and restores humanity in some spiritual sense is not found anywhere in Judaism, it is found in abundance in Pagan mythology. It arose, like all pagan concepts, out of an appreciation for and observation of nature. The concepts of the seasonal rhythm—the harvest (I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.—John 12:24), the archetypal connection between food from the fields nourishing the body and the body nourishing the fields (And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."—Luke 22:19), the rise and fall of the Nile, the waxing and waning of the moon, and the daylight hours growing longer and shorter all contribute to this image of a cycle of degeneration followed by regeneration and the idea that through sacrificing something, something else could be restored. This produced the idea of the Son/Sun dying and entering into the Mother/Earth to be restored and reborn. Mithra, as one example, was a God-Man in association with Helios and Apollo who had his feast day on Sunday, was followed by twelve disciples (representing the twelve signs of the zodiac), was born December 25 around the time of the winter solstice (when daylight hours begin to lengthen), and ascended to heaven around the spring equinox—all of which made particular sense for him because he was a Sun God. Other God-Men that played similar roles are Krishna, Dionysus, Hercules, Osirus, and Horus—the story of Jesus as depicted in the Bible sharing over 200 points of similarity with the story of Horus--Horus's story having been circulated hundreds of years before Jesus was born. This view of Jesus as a spiritual redeemer was made possible after the more spiritual (as opposed to militant) and universal (as opposed to Jewish) version of Christianity preached by Paul (who never met the pre-crucifixion Jesus but claimed to have received a vision of him), and opposed by James and Jesus’s followers, was all that remained. The war with the Romans that left the Jewish (and true) Christians destroyed allowed the seeds that Paul had planted to take root and take over. A militant messiah was no longer practical, so a peaceful messiah was created to appease the Romans and gain influence over them economically and culturally.
Messiahs (include but are not limited to): Saul, David, Solomon, Athrongaeus, Jesus, Theudas, the anonymous “scoundrel” executed by Felix, the Jewish Egyptian “false prophet”, and Manahem.
These were only the most popular--the number of messiahs is countless.
Spiritual-Redeemers/God-Men (include but are not limited to): Mythra, Krishna, Dionysus, Hercules, Osirus, Horus, and Jesus.