The Meaning of Matthew 27:50 Explained

Matthew 27:50

KJV: Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

YLT: And Jesus having again cried with a great voice, yielded the spirit;

Darby: And Jesus, having again cried with a loud voice, gave up the ghost.

ASV: And Jesus cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit.

What is the context of Matthew 27:50?

What does Matthew 27:50 Mean?

Study Notes

yielded up
Literally, "dismissed his spirit." The (Greek - ἀθέμιτος ). This expression, taken with Mark 15:37 ; Luke 23:46 ; John 19:30 . differentiates the death of Christ from all other physical death. He died by his own volition when He could say of His redemptive work, "It is finished." "No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself" John 10:18 .

Verse Meaning

Forsaken by everyone including His Father, Jesus again cried out loudly in His agony (cf. John 19:30). This was His sixth utterance on the cross. Then followed, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" ( Luke 23:46; cf. Psalm 31:6). Shortly thereafter He dismissed His spirit (i.e, what animated His life, Gr. pneuma). Matthew"s description of the moment of Jesus" death shows that Jesus had sovereign control over His own life (cf. John 10:18). Jesus manifested His kingly authority even with His dying breath. He did not commit suicide as Judas had done, but He laid down His life in self-sacrifice for the sins of humankind (cf. Matthew 20:28).
"The Greek words used here and in John 19:30 are unique in the N.T. In fifteen other Bible verses, "gave up the spirit," or "yielded up the spirit," is used to translate a single Hebrew or Greek word meaning breathe out or expire. This is true of the description of the death of Jesus in Mark 15:37; Mark 15:39 and Luke 23:46. But in Matthew 27:50 and John 19:30 alone these expressions translate a Greek phrase of two words, meaning give over the spirit or deliver up the spirit. The death of Jesus was different from that of any other man. No one could take His life from Him except as He was willing to permit it ( John 10:18). Christ chose to die so that we might live." [1]

Context Summary

Matthew 27:45-56 - The Broken Heart And The Rent Veil
With hushed hearts we stand in the presence of "that sight." It is the tragedy of time; the one supreme act of self-surrender; the unique unapproachable sacrifice and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. It is here that myriads of sin-sick, terror-stricken souls, in every century, have found refuge. It is here that martyrs have been made strong to endure. It is here that Jacob's ladder rested, in the lower places of the earth, for He that ascended is the same also that first "descended into the lower parts of the earth." He became "obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore"¦." See Philippians 2:8.
The centurion had seen other crucified ones die, but never one like this. He recognized the superhuman elements of the scene. But for us, the emotions of this hour are not those of wonder, but of loving gratitude and faith. He "loved me" He "gave Himself up for me," Galatians 2:20. [source]

Chapter Summary: Matthew 27

1  Jesus is delivered bound to Pilate
3  Judas hangs himself
19  Pilate, admonished of his wife,
20  and being urged by the multitude, washes his hands, and releases Barabbas
27  Jesus is mocked and crowned with thorns;
33  crucified;
39  reviled;
50  dies, and is buried;
62  his tomb is sealed and watched

Greek Commentary for Matthew 27:50

Yielded up his spirit [απηκεν το πνευμα]
The loud cry may have been Psalm 31:5 as given in Luke 23:46: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” John (John 19:30) gives It is finished (τετελεσται — tetelestai), though which was actually last is not clear. Jesus did not die from slow exhaustion, but with a loud cry. [source]
He breathed out [εχεπνευσεν]
“He gave up his life because he willed it, when he willed it, and as he willed it” (Augustine). Stroud (Physical Cause of the Death of Christ) considers the loud cry one of the proofs that Jesus died of a ruptured heart as a result of bearing the sin of the world. [source]
sent back his spirit [Matthew 27:50)]
(Matthew 27:50), gave up his spirit “He gave up his life because he willed it, when he willed it, and as he willed it” (Augustine). Stroud (Physical Cause of the Death of Christ) considers the loud cry one of the proofs that Jesus died of a ruptured heart as a result of bearing the sin of the world. [source]
gave up his spirit [παρεδωκεν το πνευμα]
“He gave up his life because he willed it, when he willed it, and as he willed it” (Augustine). Stroud (Physical Cause of the Death of Christ) considers the loud cry one of the proofs that Jesus died of a ruptured heart as a result of bearing the sin of the world. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Matthew 27:50

Matthew 27:49 Whether Elijah cometh to save him [ει ερχεται Ελειας σωσων αυτον]
The excuse had a pious sound as they misunderstood the words of Jesus in his outcry of soul anguish. We have here one of the rare instances (σωσων — sōsōn) of the future participle to express purpose in the N.T. though a common Greek idiom. Some ancient MSS. add here what is genuine in John 19:34, but what makes complete wreck of the context for in Matthew 27:50 Jesus cried with a loud voice and was not yet dead in Matthew 27:49. It was a crass mechanical copying by some scribe from John 19:34. See full discussion in my Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the N.T. [source]
Matthew 27:50 sent back his spirit [Matthew 27:50)]
(Matthew 27:50), gave up his spirit “He gave up his life because he willed it, when he willed it, and as he willed it” (Augustine). Stroud (Physical Cause of the Death of Christ) considers the loud cry one of the proofs that Jesus died of a ruptured heart as a result of bearing the sin of the world. [source]
Mark 15:37 Gave up the ghost [εχεπνευσεν]
Literally, breathed out. See “yielded up his spirit” in Matthew 27:50 for discussion for details. Mark uses this word εχεπνευσεν — exepneusen again in Mark 15:39. [source]
Luke 23:46 Gave up the ghost [ἐξέπνευσεν]
Lit., breathed out (his life )Wyc., sent out the spirit. See on sa40" translation="">Matthew 27:50.sa40 [source]
Luke 23:46 Gave up the ghost [εχεπνευσεν]
First aorist active indicative of εκπνεω — ekpneō to breathe out, to expire, old word, but in the N.T. only here and Mark 15:37, Mark 15:39. There is no special reason for retaining “ghost” in the English as both Matthew 27:50 (yielded up his spirit, απηκεν το πνευμα — aphēken to pneuma) and John 19:30 (gave up his spirit, παρεδωκεν το πνευμα — paredōken to pneuma) use πνευμα — pneuma which is the root of εκπνεω — ekpneō the verb in Mark and Luke. [source]
John 4:3 He left [ἀφῆκε]
The verb means literally to send away, dismiss. It is used of forgiving offenses (Matthew 6:14, note; James 5:15, note); of yielding up (Matthew 27:50, note); of letting alone (Matthew 19:14, note); of allowing or permitting (Luke 6:12, note). Its employment here is peculiar. Compare John 16:28, of Christ's leaving the world. [source]
Galatians 4:6 Crying [κρᾶζον]
A strong word, expressing deep emotion. The verb originally represents the sound of a croak or harsh scream; thence, generally, an inarticulate cry; an exclamation of fear or pain. The cry of an animal. So Aristoph. Knights, 1017, of the barking of a dog: 285,287, of two men in a quarrel, trying to bawl each other down: Frogs, 258, of the croaking of frogs. This original sense appears in N.T. usage, as Matthew 14:26; Matthew 15:23; Matthew 27:50; Mark 5:5, etc., and is recognized even where the word is used in connection with articulate speech, by adding to it the participles λέγων, λέγοντες sayingor διδάσκων teachingSee Matthew 8:29; Matthew 15:22; Mark 3:11; John 7:28, etc. In Mark 10:47the inarticulate cry and the articulate utterance are distinguished. At the same time, the word is often used of articulate speech without such additions, as Mark 10:48; Mark 11:9; Mark 15:13, Mark 15:14; Luke 18:39; Acts 7:60; Acts 19:34; Romans 8:15. It falls into more dignified association in lxx, where it is often used of prayer or appeal to God, as 4:3; 6:7; Psalm 21:2,5; 27:1,54:16; and in N.T., where it is applied to solemn, prophetic utterance, as Romans href="/desk/?q=ro+9:27&sr=1">Romans 9:27; John 1:15, and is used of Jesus himself, as John 7:28, John 7:37; John 12:44, and of the Holy Spirit, as here. The Spirit gives the inspiration of which the believer is the organ. In Romans 8:15the statement is inverted. The believer cries under the power of the Spirit. [source]

What do the individual words in Matthew 27:50 mean?

- And Jesus again having cried in a voice loud yielded up [His] spirit
δὲ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἀφῆκεν τὸ πνεῦμα

  - 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Ἰησοῦς  Jesus 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: Ἰησοῦς  
Sense: Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses’ successor.
πάλιν  again 
Parse: Adverb
Root: πάλιν  
Sense: anew, again.
κράξας  having  cried 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: κράζω  
Sense: to croak.
φωνῇ  in  a  voice 
Parse: Noun, Dative Feminine Singular
Root: φωνή  
Sense: a sound, a tone.
μεγάλῃ  loud 
Parse: Adjective, Dative Feminine Singular
Root: μέγας  
Sense: great.
ἀφῆκεν  yielded  up 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἀφίημι 
Sense: to send away.
τὸ  [His] 
Parse: Article, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
πνεῦμα  spirit 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: πνεῦμα  
Sense: a movement of air (a gentle blast.