Some would say that it is quite a leap of faith to think that trusting Jesus will ultimately save us from death. That there is a hope for a life after death, eternity. But that is not the challenge that another claim of Jesus presents us.
Jesus declared Himself to be God. The creator of the universe. The one who has all the answers and authority and power. You can’t get around that claim. And, once you grapple with it and come out the other side, all the rest that the Gospel demands of us is easy.
When Jesus here in chapter 8 says “I am.” He is very specifically saying that He is the God of the Old Testament, the God of the Jews. He is being very specific. He is not accidentally misrepresenting Himself. The Jews of His day avoided using the name of God. Jesus doesn’t just use it. He says that He is YHWH. So you have to be clear on this point. He thought He was God.
This is the classic dilemma that C. S. Lewis explained. Based on what Jesus Himself said, we don’t get the option of calling Jesus just a great example, a good teacher, or a revolutionary. He was either crazy, a con man, or He was who He said He was.
So, once you make your choice, everything else falls into place. If He was crazy or conning, ignore what He had to say. If He was God, then trusting and obeying Him is not such a challenge intellectually. Practically, sure, just not from a position of reason.