They call it the “immortal jellyfish.” Its scientific name is Turritopsis Dohrnii. It is a tiny, dime-sized, and transparent jellyfish.
Back in Time
And although it follows the typical cycle of jellyfish development (from a fertilized egg to larva to polyp to medusa to maturity), the T. dohrnii has one unique exception. When stressed, injured, or facing old age it has the power to revert back to an earlier stage of development and restart its life. It does this by a process called transdifferentiation. It’s as if its mature, specialized cells all become stem cells again. The appendages normally associated with a mature jelly deteriorate and break off, while the jelly itself regresses to become a polyp.
Then it restarts its life. The polyp clones itself to become a colony of polyps, which become many new free-swimming medusas. By this process, the jelly is rendered biologically immortal—though it can be destroyed by predators or other factors.
One Japanese scientist has observed the same T. dohrnii jelly restart its life eleven times. He believes this tiny jelly may hold the key to human immortality.
But God has a far different plan to make us immortal. It does not involve us reverting to an earlier stage of our development like the T. dohrnii. God’s plan involves the very opposite. Instead of regressing to a younger self, God wants us to grow older, wiser, stronger in faith and Christian virtues until we are transformed into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 12:1–2).
It does, however, involve the deterioration and death of the outer man, the body. For the weakness and pain of the outer man are key to the development of the inner man. You see, the Bible tells us that our bodies are already dead because of sin (Romans 8:10). Therefore, we should not become overly concerned with the body’s preservation and fine-tuning. From a biblical perspective trying to “reverse the aging process” is silly. The body is already dead because of sin’s ravages and God’s curse. The Bible further tells us that our “outer man,” the body, is on a one-way journey to decay (2 Corinthians 4:16).
On the other hand, the inner man, the soul and spirit, is being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:17). This is where our immortality lies—with the inner person. And at no time does this path to immortality regress to an immature state. No, the true path to immortality is to keep growing in our spirit—to become more Christ-like, day by day and year by year. For this is how God makes us fit for heaven. He transforms our inner man through tribulations, physical weakness, and storms–to make our faith stronger and our hearts purer (Romans 5:3–5; James 1:2–3).
He purges us through the furnace of affliction until we more perfectly reflect the image of Christ.
All during this long process of inner transformation, the outer man becomes withered and frail. But don’t be deceived by outward appearances. For the man on the inside is ten thousand times bigger and stronger than the man on the outside. Finally, when the Maker’s heart is satisfied with what He sees inside us, He strips away the tattered, old shell of our body and clothes our Christ-like spirit with immortality. Christ gives us a new glorious body, like His own (1 Corinthians 15:42–44, 51–57; Philippians 3:20–21; 1 John 3:2–3).
Never long for the times gone before. Never yearn to relive moments from the past, no matter how pleasant they may have been. Be done with childish things and thinking. God expects you to grow and become more Christ-like. God wants to fit you for eternity in heaven with Himself. Reverting to the past is not the way to get there. Look at what Paul the apostle wrote.
“I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. … Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:12–14, NLT).
Dear Father in heaven, here and now I renounce the passing pleasures of sin and the achievements of the past in order to grow and become more like Jesus. Please perfect the good work You began in me and conform me into the glorious image of Your Son, Jesus. Fit me for heaven, dear Father I pray. Amen.
(Information from: http://www.strangeanimals.info/2014/09/turritopsis-dohrnii-immortal-jellyfish.html)