1 Christ, the life of all the living;
Christ, the death of death our foe;
Christ, for us yourself once giving
to the darkest depths of woe:
through your suffering, death, and merit,
life eternal we inherit;
thousand, thousand thanks are due,
dearest Jesus, unto you.
2 You have suffered great affliction
and have borne it patiently,
even death by crucifixion:
our atonement full and free.
Lord, you chose to be tormented,
that our doom should be prevented; [Refrain]
3 Lord, for all that bought our pardon,
for the sorrows deep and sore,
for the anguish in the garden,
we will thank you evermore.
For the victory of your dying—
sinful nature mortifying— [Refrain]
The text is a meditation on the suffering and death of Christ, which brought eternal life to believers (st. 1), provided full atonement for our sin (st. 2), and mortified our "old nature" (st. 3). The tone of unending gratitude to God reflected in the refrain line–"thousand, thousand thanks are due"–runs throughout the entire text.
This song is saturated with an awareness of the vicarious suffering of Christ, for this we owe him a “…thousand, thousand thanks.” Belgic Confession, Article 21 captures the heart of our confidence and assurance with its profession: “And he endured all this for the forgiveness of our sins.”