The leaders expressed a precise feeling, state of mind, political certainty, and they did it with these words: How long are you going to keep us in suspense? The verb they used is àiro, "hoist, hook, hang: catch, clear away, eliminate, take away, kill." The Akkadian etymology ba’aru refers to hooking, ensnaring, trapping with no way out. Asking that question the leaders revealed their greatest fear: as long as Jesus was alive, as long as he was there and working, as long as He was walking and talking on their squares, they felt as if their souls-mindsets were hanging. They felt as if their hypocrisy had been revealed, their inefficiency uncovered, they felt unmasked as the people's predators as part of the benefits system. They felt as if they were caught in a trap by Jesus, ensnared by His words, blocked by His clarity. They asked Jesus - who could have enlightened the way for them and shown them the truth; instead they took a path with no way out, a mortal snare - by asking the million dollar question; and the punctuation of that sentence is already made by the cross' nails: If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.
Jesus had no way out: If he said " Yes, I am," they would not have believed Him anyway, and they would have been given a reason to justify their absolute hatred. If He said "No, I am not," it would have meant calling themselves liars, and confirmed in their own eyes that He was nothing. In any case Jesus was transformed into the number one enemy and turned into a meaningless nothing.
The leaders would eventually hammer those nails, they would take away all authority from Jesus's figure and person, but one fact remained: no one had ever ensnared and cornered them in that way, no one had ever unmasked them so plainly, with no way out. Throughout all of human history nails have always been ready for Jesus, but even the Lord's shoestring was already tied around the feet of all of mankind's predators' feet, so that they have no way out.