A trope often posed in old comics and graphic novels is that of an angel and a demon who appear before a character at a time of crisis, the former urging the person to pursue the righteous course of action and the other highlighting the temporal pleasure of giving in to temptation (“jussssst this once”).
Ignoring the legend of the Wandering Jew would be unwise, especially when it holds a mirror so reflective on all of humanity. He personifies us, and how we insult Christ in word and deed every day of our life by taking refuge in hypocrisy, pride and worldly comforts that most assuredly won’t accompany us to the grave.
Why do we take the Bible so literally? I think it is because we subconsciously find comfort in following however little is spelt out, and not a letter more. Obtaining an actual understanding of the book would be akin to hunting for more strictures to bind ourselves with, and that would be such a pity.