Rescued By Olive Oil

September 29, 2016
Volume 20, Number 31

On Saturday, September 17, 2016, a 31-year-old man found himself in a potentially life-threatening situation.  He and a friend had walked out onto a jetty in Narragansett, Rhode Island.  He bent down to retrieve a dropped cell phone, and became stuck between two large rocks from his chest up.

Firefighters and other rescue personnel were called to the scene to free the man.  They spent two-and-one-half hours working at the task, all the while keeping an eye on the rising tide that was approaching.  Their efforts were proving futile until someone suggested using olive oil – lots of it.  Once the man was adequately coated with the oil, he was able to slip free from the rocks that could have become his tomb.  He was treated for a small injury to his foot and for hypothermia at a local hospital.

Sounds of nervous laughter may be heard among our readers.  Getting one’s head stuck in various situation is not uncommon.  Just Google “got his head stuck” or some similar phrase, and settle in for several minutes of entertaining (?) reading.  That space between the bed rails looks deceptively large.

All people can plead guilty to going where they should not have gone; we’re speaking now of the idea of “sin”, transgressions against God’s standards.  Once we’ve gone there we find ourselves stuck, unable to free ourselves.  What can we do?

Once again, an anointing of oil is involved, but not just any anointing.  “The Anointed One” is the meaning of the words “Messiah” (Hebrew) and “Christ” (Greek).  It refers to the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the One anointed / chosen by God to rescue people from what would otherwise claim their souls.

Before Jesus was born, an angel announced to Joseph, Jesus’ stepfather, that the Child “will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).  As Jesus was about to commence His rescue mission, He was “anointed” by the Spirit of God (in the form of a dove) as a voice from heaven announced, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16,17).  Days before His arrest, trial, and crucifixion Jesus was anointed  with “very costly fragrant oil” by one of the women who followed Him (Matthew 26:6,7).

In the Bible we find priests, prophets, and kings being anointed at the beginning of their service.  Jesus, it turns out, is all of these to any who are willing to follow Him.

Peter made a confession we should all consider: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).  If we don’t turn to this Anointed One, we will be forever stuck in the tomb of our sins.

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2016, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

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